Three people were killed and three others seriously injured after Bengaluru police opened fire in order to control the riot on late Tuesday, following a protest march that started as a revolt to a social media post accused of insulting Prophet Muhammad.
Angry mobs attacked people in the Kaval Byrasandra area in protest of a Facebook post, allegedly posted by P. Naveen, nephew of the Pulakeshinagar Parliament Member Akhanda Srinivasa Murthy of Congress.
Residents began sharing “offensive” messages, and soon, about 600 people gathered near the police station in Pulakeshinagar to demand justice. Crowds once again gathered outside Murthy’s residence, chanting slogans demanding the arrest of Naveen, who said his account had been hacked. The post which was deleted initially, has now been reinstated and police has arrested him for a thorough investigation.
According to police, the angry mob then started to set fire to vehicles and other property. Police sources said the mob arrived at Murthy’s residence armed with lathis, metal bars and other sharp metal objects and tried to enter. The MLA was not home at the time of the violence.
Section 144 of the CrPC, which prohibits the gathering of more than five people, has now been enacted throughout the city. Police Commissioner Kamal Pant said 110 people had been arrested for arson, stoning and assault on police.
Karnataka Home Affairs Minister Basavaraj Bommai said in a video message sent to the media: “Whatever be the issue, it will be thoroughly investigated. Vandalism is not the solution. The guilty, however powerful, will be brought to book. I have given the police a free hand to handle the situation.”
In a tweet Wednesday morning, Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa said the violence was unacceptable and said the perpetrators would be booked.