#BengaluruBurns: "Derogatory" Facebook post on Prophet sparks violence, three dead
A bloodthirsty mob went on a rampage in Northeast Bengaluru, Karnataka, late last night after being irked by a derogatory Facebook post on Prophet Muhammad, uploaded by a Congress MLA's relative. Claiming that the said post offended Islam and its beliefs, the mob set vehicles on fire, burnt public property, forcing police to fire tear-gas shells. In the violence, at least three people died.
Mob wanted action against MLA's relative for inciting Facebook post
At the center of this mindless violence was one post uploaded by P Naveen, a relative of Congress MLA R Akhanda Srinivas Murthy. According to Bangalore Mirror, around 1,000 people gathered outside the KG Halli Police station, demanding action against Naveen for his inciting post. The unrelenting mob gheraoed the police station, and the situation escalated soon after.
Police stations were attacked, vehicles outside MLA's house burnt
The angry mob gathered outside the DJ Halli and KG Halli Police stations, raised slogans and slammed Naveen. Some of them also rushed to Kaval Byrasandra, where Pulkeshinagar MLA Murthy lives, and attacked his house. The mob set vehicles parked outside ablaze. When a fire brigade reached to douse the fire, the mob didn't let it pass. Tellingly, the cops found themselves outnumbered.
Here are the horrifying visuals from the spot
The police have opened fire in air to warn the mob. Both KG Halli and DJ Halli police stations have been vandalised. The mob has burnt down several vehicles of police. pic.twitter.com/PbjGm0qMtF— Bangalore Mirror (@BangaloreMirror) August 11, 2020
Vehicles of DCPs burnt, at least 60 cops injured
Reportedly, the mob spilled over to Bharatinagar, Commercial Street, and Tannery Road. On Tannery Road, tires were set on fire and placed at various spots. The damaged vehicles belonged to two DCPs. Bengaluru City Police Commissioner Kamal Pant informed that at least 60 policemen suffered injuries. He also said firing in the air was necessitated as the mob remained adamant.
Fire department's vehicle wasn't spared either
Recalling the horrifying incident, a fire official said the mob vandalized their vehicle as well. "They broke the windshield and the vehicle had to be parked nearby RT Nagar Police station. The mob burnt down two cars, five bikes, and an auto," he said.
Please maintain peace, said MLA after tensions peaked
Citing sources, IE said that Murthy was not at home when the mob wreaked havoc there. He later released a video urging the Muslim brethren to maintain peace. "I will ensure that proper legal action is initiated against the perpetrators. I request you to maintain peace and harmony," he said. Meanwhile, Naveen was whisked away for questioning and has claimed his account was hacked.
Murthy appealed for peace in video
#Bengaluru: Pulkeshinagar Congress MLA R Akhanda Srinivas Murthy appeals for peace after an irate mob surrounded his house in Kaval Byrasandra irked by a derogatory post allegedly put up on social media by his relative. @IndianExpress pic.twitter.com/khmaFj1ews— Ralph Alex Arakal (@ralpharakal) August 11, 2020
Separately, Home Minister said violence is not the answer
Karnataka Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai assured action against the "guilty," but slammed the violence. "No matter how powerful the perpetrators are, strict legal action will be taken against them. But citizens should refrain from taking the law into their hands," he added. Religious leaders were also called to pacify the mob. Mufti PM Muzammil of Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind told the mob that FIR was registered.
Religious leader claimed FIR has been registered; police didn't confirm
"The FIR has been lodged and the police will arrest him (the perpetrator) tomorrow. He will be punished. It is my request that all of you should keep your emotions under control," he said. However, police didn't confirm that FIR has been registered.
Burnt houses, vehicles narrate tales of violence; Section 144 imposed
Vandalized cars and broken glass panes of structures revealed the extent of last night's violence. As a precautionary measure, Section 144 was imposed in the city, and curfew enforced in DJ Halli and KG Halli Police station limits, reports ANI. At least 110 people have been arrested. Condemning the violence, Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa said miscreants who attacked cops will not be spared.