Violent riots broke out in Bengaluru’s Pulakeshi Nagar late on Tuesday, 11th August, over a ‘derogatory message’ posted by a politician’s relative on social media. As per the latest reports, at least 3 people died and 60 police personnel were injured in the incident. The mob alleged that a Facebook post by the MLA R Akhanda Srinivas Murthy’s nephew was offensive to Islam and its beliefs. They went on to vandalise a police station and Congress leader Murthy’s house, hurling bottles and stones. As police rushed to bring the situation under control, hundreds more gathered and marched to DJ Halli police station, torching vehicles and chanting slogans demanding an FIR and immediate arrest of the MLA’s nephew.
Following this, Murthy released a video message appealing to people not to resort to violence. He said, “I’m making a request to my Muslim brethren. There is no need to be violent. I will ensure that proper legal action is initiated against the perpetrators. I request you to maintain peace and harmony and I will be with you for this.”
As the situation became more violent (riots), Bengaluru Police had to resort to lathi-charge. They confirmed it in a statement, “Unfortunate incidents took place within the limits of DJ Halli and KG Halli police stations. The police have resorted to lathi-charge, tear gas and bullets to keep the situation under control.”
Bengaluru Roits, Police have arrested 149 people for arson, stone-pelting and assault on the police. Murthy’s nephew has also been arrested for his offensive Facebook post. In a tweet, Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa also said the violence was unacceptable and assured that the perpetrators would be booked. Section 144 of the CRPC, which prohibits the assembly of more than five people, has now been imposed across the city.