Three people were killed in police firing in Bengaluru and 60 police personnel injured, the city’s police chief told, as violence broke out in the eastern part of the city on Tuesday night over a Facebook message posted allegedly by a relative of a Congress MLA. 110 people have been arrested for violence, stone-throwing and assault on police personnel.
Protesters set many vehicles on fire and surrounded MLA Srinivas Murthy’s house in the city. Mr Murthy’s nephew Naveen, who allegedly posted the message on Facebook, has been arrested.
The police used lathi-charge, tear gas and firing to disperse the violent crowd.
“DG Halli and KG Halli saw violent incidents. To bring this under control, police used lathi charge, tear gas and firing. Police Commissioner went to the spot. Police bandobast is in place. Strict action will be taken against those offenders,” the Bengaluru police posted on Twitter.
24 four-wheelers were set on fire; 200 bikes kept at a police station were also set on fire. A police station was damaged in the violence.
Bengaluru police commissioner Kamal Pant said the situation has been brought under control. While a curfew has been imposed in the violence-hit areas of DG Halli and KG Halli till tomorrow morning, large gatherings have been banned in the rest of Bengaluru city.
At least one reporter was injured after being hit by the police while covering the situation.
In tweets this morning, Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa condemned the attack and said strict action will be taken against the perpetrators of the violence.
The Congress MLA had released a video appealing to people to maintain peace. Karnataka Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai also released a video message, saying people should not take law into their own hands.
He condemned the incidents of arson and looting and said that additional police forces had been sent to the area.
He said that the police has been given a free hand to bring down the situation under control.
Meanwhile, senior Congress leader Dinesh Gundu Rao also appealed people to not to take law into their hands.
“Horrible situation in Pulakeshinagar after the attack on our MLA @AkhandaSrinivas house and the Kaval Byrsandra Polcie satiation. Whatever the provocation nobody can take law into their own hands and destroy public property,” he said on Twitter.
“I urge all the people to maintain calm and the govt to handle this delicate situation firmly but surely and not play politics. I also see a conspiracy in the way the Facebook post has been put out & looks to have been done to incite disturbance,” he said further.