Bengaluru violence: Strong mob had gathered, pelted stones at police, says eyewitness
A previous version of the story had quoted an eyewitness who claimed 50,000-60,000 people were part of the mob that had gathered on Monday night. This figure was later found to be inaccurate and removed from the story
An eyewitness said on Wednesday there was a strong mob, which pelted stones at police personnel and damaged property at a police station during the violence on Tuesday night in Bengaluru.
At least three people have died and scores of police personnel have been injured after the violence in Pulakeshi Nagar of the state capital of Karnataka on Tuesday night. The violence broke out over a social media message, which was allegedly posted by a relative of a Congress legislator. Police vehicles were also damaged and set on fire.
Sharif, who was an eyewitness to the violence at the police station in DJ Halli, said he had come to record his statement. “We are from civil defence and have come to protect the police. It was not the police’s fault, it was the public’s fault,” he told reporters.
“This (police station) is like my temple, my masjid. We have to support the police,” he added.
Bengaluru Police have arrested 149 people for arson, stone-pelting and assault on the police, officials said. Congress’ member of legislative assembly (MLA) Srinivas Murthy’s nephew was also arrested for sharing the “derogatory” post on Facebook.
Chief minister BS Yediyurappa tweeted to condemn the violence and that he has already ordered action against those taking the law into their hands. Yediyurappa said those who attacked the police, media and the public will not be spared and strict action will be taken. He also appealed for calm.
Yediyurappa appealed to people to maintain peace and said that violence against journalists, police and people was unacceptable.
“The miscreants in the DJ Halli police station has led to the assault and rioting at MLA Akhand Srinivasa’s house and police station. Already, directives have been issued against the perpetrators and the government has taken all possible steps to curb the situation,” Yediyurappa tweeted (roughly translated from Kannada).
“The attack on journalists, the police and the public in the riot last night was unacceptable. The government will not tolerate such provocations and rumours. Strict action against perpetrators is certain. I appeal to people to maintain peace and act with restraint and without panic,” he said in another tweet.
Murthy’s house was also vandalised by the mob following the social media post by his nephew. Residence of Congress MLA Akhanda Srinivasamurthy was also attacked after the violence broke out.
A curfew has been clamped in DJ Halli and KG Halli police station limits after the violence broke out in the area. Police have also imposed Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) in Bengaluru to prohibit the assembly of four or more persons in an area.
(With agency inputs)