Atleast three people were killed after police opened fire to quell a mob that went on a rampage irked over a social media post allegedly put out by a Congress legislator's relative, as a city locality witnessed arson and violence.
Scores of persons, including around 50 policemen, were injured in the violence that erupted on Tuesday night and continued till the wee hours of Wednesday, apparently prompted by the 'communally sensitive' online post.
A mob rampaged through Bengaluru's Pulakeshi Nagar Tuesday night and vandalised a police station and the Congress legislator Akhanda Srinivasa Murthy's residence whose relative had allegedly shared the Facebook post, police said.
"Three people have died (in police firing)," Bengaluru Police Commissioner Kamal Pant told news agency PTI. Further, 110 people have been arrested in connection with the incident at Pulakeshi Nagar.
Karnataka: DJ Halli Police Station in Bengaluru city vandalised last night, as violence broke out over an alleged inciting social media post.
Sec 144 imposed in city, curfew in DJ Halli & KG Halli police station limits. At least 2 dead, 110 arrested, 60 Police personnel injured. pic.twitter.com/FVgUIanWgd— ANI (@ANI) August 12, 2020
Pant said Naveen, who allegedly posted the social media post, has been arrested and appealed for peace.
Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa said on Wednesday that strict action will be taken against those responsible for the violence.
Meanwhile, the police have arrested the person who had posted the derogatory post on Facebook. "The accused has been arrested for sharing derogatory posts on social media," Bengaluru Police Commissioner Kamal Pant said.
A large number of people gathered near MLA Murthy's residence and vandalised it and damaged the vehicles parked there.
The mob then targeted the police station and damaged vehicles believing that the police had kept the accused detained there, they said.
The police teams that tried to contain the violence also bore the brunt of the mob as their vehicles were damaged, eye-witnesses said.
Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai said riots and arson are against law and warned the rioters that he has given police a free hand to contain the violence.
One of the victims has been identified as Yasin Pasha. The victim's father Afzal told reporters that his son was 'innocent.'
"My son operated a meat shop in the area and had gone for dinner when the police opened fire and he died. He is innocent and was not involved in any arson," he said.
He claimed that some outsiders, who came in hordes and damaged property, were responsible for the violence.
Later, MLA Murthy appealed to the community members to not resort to violence.
"I am appealing to my Muslim brethren that we should not resort to violence for the fault committed by some miscreants. There is no need to fight. We all are brothers. We will get the person punished as per law. We will also be with you. I appeal to the Muslim friends to be calm," he said in a video message.
Congress MLA and former minister B Z Zameer Ahmed Khan said the violence was unfortunate.
"I am hopeful that police will take action against all those who are responsible for this. I also request everyone to stay calm and maintain peace in the area," Khan tweeted.
After learning about the incident, the Bengaluru Police Commissioner Kamal Pant had rushed to the spot but his intervention too did not stop the rioters.
Later, the Bengaluru police tweeted that it had to lathi-charged the mob, lob the tear gas and finally open fire to control them. Dozens of protesters have been arrested.
The police said the culprits of Tuesday's violence and arson will not be spared.
(With PTI inputs)