Bengaluru, Aug 12: Three people lost their lives and a few others sustained injuries after police opened fire at a mob in KG Halli in East Bengaluru in the violence that erupted over an offensive post on a social media platform. Several policemen were also injured as mobsters pelted stones at them.
Curfew has been imposed in Banaswadi Police Sub-Division. The police opened fire after an irate mob on Tuesday night attacked the house of Congress MLA Akhanda Srinivasamurthy after one of his relatives posted a defamatory posted defamatory message on Facebook targeting a particular religion.
The mob comprising over 100 people also torched about 15 vehicles, besides pelting stones at the MLA's house and other adjoining houses in Kaval Byrasandra.
Armed with sticks, iron rods, sharp metal objects and other weapons, the protestors barged into the house of the MLA and indulged in vandalism. The mob even attacked those who were capturing the violent incident on their phone cameras. The cameras and mobiles were snatched and were damaged completely according to eyewitnesses.
The protesters even attacked the vehicle of North-East Division Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Bheemashankar Guled. Trying to take control of the situation, the DCP visited the spot and he was stopped by the protesters in front of the police station gate and began pelting stones. Even as the police personnel were escorting the DCP to a safe location, the mob attacked the car and damaged it. They also assaulted the driver of the vehicle.
The mob took control of the area and sealed five to six crosses barring access to police personnel and fire and emergency service personnel.
Following the incident, over 600 people stormed the KG Halli police station venting their anger and demanding justice. The incident which occurred at around 9:00 pm went out of control in less than an hour after the mob began to torch the vehicles and vandalise the houses nearby. Gripped by panic, the residents staying in surrounding areas were seen leaving houses along with kids and women to other areas.
Trying to control the situation and disperse the crowd, the police fired in the air in front of the KG Halli police station. While two people died on the spot, another person succumbed to his injuries later. Many other injured are undergoing treatment at hospitals.
According to sources, the mob was reportedly angered over a derogatory Facebook post on religion, alleged to have been posted by MLA's brother-in-law. A few others also revealed that the post was put up by the MLA's personal assistant.
Meanwhile, the police have arrested one Naveen in connection with the post. The police also have arrested around 110 people in connection with the violence.
Appeal for peace
In the meantime, MLA Akhanda Srinivasamurthy released a video where he said, "I appeal to all my Muslim brethren to maintain peace and not to get carried away by the rumours and miscreants' words. Be it a Hindu or Muslim, we all are equal. Whoever it may be trying to disrupt the harmony, they will be dealt with seriously and will be punished by the police as per the law. But let us not resort to this violence and I request all of you to keep calm."
Following the violent protests, Chamarajpet MLA BZ Zameer Ahmed Khan also rushed to the spot and visited KG Halli police station. According to sources, Police Commissioner Kamal Pant also rushed to the spot.
"The government will take action against those who are responsible behind the attack. Resorting to violence, torching of vehicles is against the law and not a solution to any problem. Any issue can be legally pursued and taken to a logical end. I have already directed the police commissioner to visit the spot and take control of the situation," said Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai.