Bengaluru police commissioner Kamal Pant said the situation had been brought under control, while a curfew has been imposed in the violence-hit areas
BENGALURU – In a case of blasphemy over the social media platform by one Naveen took an ugly turn Tuesday evening. Navin is said to be a nephew of Congress MLA Akhand Srinivas Murthy. His allegedly offensive Facebook post about Prophet Muhammad created unrest and anger among the Muslim community members.
Three people have been killed and 60 policemen injured in the violence that broke out in D.J. Halli, K.G. Halli, Pulikeshinagar and Kaval Byresandra areas in the eastern part of Bengaluru.
According to City Police Commissioner Kamal Pant, 110 people have been arrested for violence, stone-throwing and assault on police personnel.
Karnataka Home minister B.S. Bommai confirmed police firing and the death of at least one of the protesters.
Navin, the alleged culprit, has been arrested, said the police commissioner. The protesters surrounded the Congress MLA’s house in Bengaluru, and according to one report, Murthy’s house has also been vandalised.
Mufti Muzamil Zikriya, a local Muslim figure, was seen at the spot pleading youths against taking law into their hands and assured those assembled that the police would initiate measures to bring the culprit to book.
However, despite his appeal, protesters set ablaze two dozen cars and 200 bikes kept at a police station. A police station was also damaged in the violence, as per the reports coming in.
The police used lathi-charge, tear gas and firing to disperse the violent crowd.
Police chief Pant said the situation had 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.
Meanwhile, Karnataka unit of the Students Islamic Organisation (SIO) said on Wednesday that arson, rioting and disturbing peace were no solution to anything.
“Prophet Mohammed is revered and held in high esteem by many across the globe. Attempts to affront and insult him are highly condemnable. However, these issues should be pursued and resolved using legal means only,” said SIO in a press release.
Appealing for calm, the SIO said there could not be any justification for arson and disturbance under any circumstances. “Respecting law of the land is the primary responsibility of all. Culprits must be identified and punished. SIO Karnataka demands a fair and impartial probe into the incident and that no innocent should be troubled or harassed.”
The SIO also urged media houses to stick to professional ethos while reporting and not fall prey to any rumours.
Murthy, the Congress MLA, had released a video late last night appealing to people to maintain peace. Karnataka Home Minister Bommai also released a video message, saying people should not take law into their own hands.