By Arré Bench Aug. 12, 2020
The violence in Bangalore was triggered by an objectionable Facebook message posted alleged by a Congress MLA’s relative. The rioting and assault on policemen has been condemned by politicians and members of civil society.
While Bengaluru attempts to fight the tide of rising coronavirus cases, violence gripped parts of the city on Tuesday night over an allegedly derogatory social media post uploaded by a Congress legislator’s relative.
At least three people have died with over 50 cops injured in violent clashes in east Bengaluru, between the DJ Halli and KG Halli areas. While the mob pelted stones and torched vehicles, the police had to resort to using batons, tear gas, and opening fire to bring the situation under control.
Tension in Bengaluru east after a now deleted post on FB allegedly insults Prophet Muhammad. Violence breaks out , police trying to control the mob. pic.twitter.com/jC7W1PduyH
— Rohini Swamy (@Rohini_Swamy) August 11, 2020
Naveen, nephew of Pulakeshinagar MLA Akhanda Srinivasmurthy of the Congress, had allegedly posted a derogatory comment on Prophet Mohammed on Facebook that enraged a section of the minority community. A small group started arriving at MLA Murthy’s residence, after which hundreds joined them in protest outside DJ Halli police station demanding immediate action.
“We will investigate the matter thoroughly, whatever the situation is. However, indulging in vandalism is not the solution. Additional forces have been deployed and the cops have been given a free hand to handle the situation,” Home Minister Basavraj Bommai had said at the time.
#BangaloreRiots | 3 people were killed and over 60 policemen were injured as clashes erupted in Bengaluru over an alleged derogatory social media post. The post on Facebook was made by Congress MLA Akhand Srinivas Murthy’s nephew. pic.twitter.com/nUniDnn96T
— Hindustan Times (@htTweets) August 12, 2020
Bengaluru City Police Commissioner Kamal Pant confirmed the deaths to Indian Express, stating, “Three people have died during the incident. However, we are yet to ascertain the exact reason behind these deaths.” He further added, “Police jeeps, buses, and other vehicles parked in the area were torched by the mob. Stone pelting was also rampant in the area during the late hours. Two vehicles in which DCPs arrived at the site were overturned and burnt.”
At least three people died in violent clashes with the police in east Bengaluru late Tuesday night, over an alleged derogatory social media post uploaded by a Congress legislator’s relative. @ralpharakal reportshttps://t.co/psirUzqFCL
— The Indian Express (@IndianExpress) August 12, 2020
Kamal Pant took to Twitter to announce that 110 accused had been arrested for arson, stone pelting and assault on police, along with Naveen for making the derogatory post. He appealed to the people to cooperate and maintain peace.
With regard to incidents in DJ Halli, accused Naveen arrested for posting derogatory posts.. also total 110 accused arrested for arson, stone pelting and assault on police. APPEAL TO ALL TO COOPERATE WITH POLICE TO MAINTAIN PEACE.
— Kamal Pant, IPS (@CPBlr) August 11, 2020
Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa directed police to take action against those involved in the incident. “Directions have been issued to the police to take strict action against the perpetrators involved in inciting violence at MLA Akhanda Srinivas Murthy’s residence and later against the police in DJ Halli station limits. The government will take all measures to punish the guilty. The government will not tolerate such provocations and rumors. I appeal to the public to maintain peace,” he tweeted.
ಡಿ.ಜಿ ಹಳ್ಳಿ ಪೊಲೀಸ್ ಠಾಣಾ ವ್ಯಾಪ್ತಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ಕಿಡಿಗೇಡಿಗಳು ಶಾಸಕ ಅಖಂಡ ಶ್ರೀನಿವಾಸ ಅವರ ಮನೆ ಹಾಗು ಪೋಲೀಸ್ ಠಾಣೆ ಮೇಲೆ ದಾಳಿ, ಗಲಭೆ ನಡೆಸಿರುವುದು ಖಂಡನೀಯ. ಈಗಾಗಲೇ ದುಷ್ಕರ್ಮಿಗಳ ವಿರುದ್ದ ನಿರ್ದಾಕ್ಷಿಣ್ಯ ಕ್ರಮ ಕೈಗೊಳ್ಳುವಂತೆ ನಿರ್ದೇಶನ ನೀಡಲಾಗಿದ್ದು ಸರ್ಕಾರ ದಾಂಧಲೆ ಹತ್ತಿಕ್ಕಲು ಎಲ್ಲ ರೀತಿಯ ಕ್ರಮ ಕೈಗೊಂಡಿದೆ. (1/2)
— B.S. Yediyurappa (@BSYBJP) August 12, 2020
ನಿನ್ನೆ ರಾತ್ರಿ ನಡೆದ ಗಲಭೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಪತ್ರಕರ್ತರು, ಪೋಲೀಸರು, ಸಾರ್ವಜನಿಕರ ಮೇಲೆ ಹಲ್ಲೆ ಮಾಡಿರುವುದು ಅಕ್ಷಮ್ಯ. ಇಂತಹ ಪ್ರಚೋದನೆ, ಪುಂಡಾಟಗಳನ್ನು ಸರ್ಕಾರ ಕಿಂಚಿತ್ತೂ ಸಹಿಸುವುದಿಲ್ಲ. ದುಷ್ಕರ್ಮಿಗಳ ವಿರುದ್ಧ ಕಠಿಣ ಕ್ರಮ ನಿಶ್ಚಿತ. ಜನರು ಈ ಸಂದರ್ಭದಲ್ಲಿ ಆವೇಶಕ್ಕೆ ಒಳಗಾಗದೆ ಸಂಯಮದಿಂದ ವರ್ತಿಸಬೇಕೆಂದು ಮನವಿ ಮಾಡುತ್ತೇನೆ. (2/2)
— B.S. Yediyurappa (@BSYBJP) August 12, 2020
Even while many condemned the violence, messages of harmony have been echoed by politicians and influencers to calm down the tempers.
Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah called for peace since only innocents suffer in communal riots. He asked for both religious groups to discuss and resolve the issue amicably.
Our experience tells us that only innocents suffer in the communal riots.
I urge leaders from both the religion to discuss and resolve the issue amicably & restore peace in the area.
— Siddaramaiah (@siddaramaiah) August 12, 2020
“The Prophet (SAW) faced the vilest of abuses in his lifetime. Not once did he retaliate. Let’s learn from his wisdom, patience & grace,” tweeted writer Irene Akbar.
The Prophet (SAW) faced the vilest of abuses in his lifetime. Not once did he retaliate. Let’s learn from his wisdom, patience & grace. Loving the Prophet (SAW) means following his ways.
— Irena Akbar (@irenaakbar) August 12, 2020
Congress spokesperson Shama Mohamed said that the mob violence was unacceptable.
Mob violence can never be acceptable, no matter the provocation. Everyone who participated in the #bangaloreriots must face the law. It is equally important that this incident is not communalised. For a certain party, every tragedy is an opportunity!https://t.co/DgmNy1lS9z
— Shama Mohamed (@drshamamohd) August 12, 2020
Supreme Court advocate Karuna Nundy demanded action against perpetrators.
Bengaluru violence over an FB post, however objectionable, must be prosecuted to the hilt. Our speech laws are draconian enough.
— Karuna Nundy (@karunanundy) August 12, 2020
Condemning the incident, actor Swara Bhasker wrote, “No excuses for violence and arson! No, hurt sentiments are not an excuse!!”
No excuses for violence and arson! No, hurt sentiments are not an excuse!! Highly condemnable, the violence by Muslim hooligans in #Bangalore Just proves religious fanaticism is a scourge in all communities. Guilty must be brought to book as per law. Shameful! #bangaloreriots
— Swara Bhasker (@ReallySwara) August 12, 2020
The police have stated that Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedures has been imposed in DJ Halli and KG Halli areas to avoid further incidents. While the state and country is already reeling with the coronavirus pandemic and a string of natural disasters, the last thing we need is communal violence over social media posts that further stretches our police force and healthcare system to the absolute limit.