Bengaluru Violence: Section 144 Extended In Riot-Hit DJ Halli & KG Halli Till August 15
Bengaluru: A day after the riots that left parts of East Bengaluru scarred resulting in three deaths in police firing and over 150 getting injured, including policemen, initial investigations show that two factors led to the carnage: Fake news, Ayodhya coupled with the belligerent attitude of Naveen, the nephew of the local Congress MLA Akhanda Srinivasamurthy, who posted the controversial Facebook cartoon belittling the Prophet.
It all started when a small group of local minority community members met in Kavalbyrasandra area to discuss the alleged derogatory Facebook post by Naveen. They decided to take up the matter with Srinivasamurthy and the jurisdictional police.
Following the meeting, the group, comprising Secular Democratic Party of India (SDPI) members, a fringe but militant group of the minority community, split into two. One headed to Srinivasamurthy’s house, while the other went to KG Halli police station.
It was at the police station that things took a wrong turn. The badly depleted police force due to COVID pandemic told the group to wait for senior officers to arrive as it was a cybercrime and a sensitive issue. But the belligerent SDPI activists wanted Naveen to be arrested immediately. The cops assured them of action but they refused to listen.
Somebody in the group seems to have texted that the police were refusing to act. This ignited the trouble as a huge crowd started gathering outside the police station.
Simultaneously, the KG Halli police station got a call that an angry mob was barging into a house, dragging out occupants and beating them up. Two constables rushed to the spot thinking that it was a property dispute. But on reaching the spot they were aghast to see the mob growing in numbers and they realised that they had a riot on their hands. Immediately, a message went out on the wireless. This seemed to be a planned attack.
At the same time, the house of MLA Srinivasamurthy’s came under attack. The policemen were clearly outnumbered.
Secondly cause: SDPI activists were nursing a grudge against Naveen, the Congress legislator’s nephew, as he went overboard when the bhumi puja was conducted for the Ram Mandir at Ayodhya. The community leaders, including some local SDPI activists, decided that time had come to act against Naveen.
Police sources admitted that there was a general feeling of insecurity building up among minorities in the locality after the recent developments in Ayodhya.
“Had Naveen been a common man, his posts would not have attracted much attention,” an investigating officer was quoted in the media. “Since he is a nephew of an MLA, it angered people. Moreover, Naveen was accused of cheating several local residents on the pretext of jobs, land deals, government tenders and pilgrimage to Mecca.”