The Karnataka government has ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incidents of violence that was triggered by a blasphemous Facebook post on Tuesday evening. Three people have died, 60 policemen injured and over 145 have been arrested
BENGALURU – Karnataka’s home minister Basavaraj Bommai has said that damage to the property in Tuesday’s violence will be recovered from the perpetrators identified by the police. “This will be done as per the Supreme Court directions in place,” he said after a high-level meeting presided over by Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Wednesday.
Tourism Minister C.T. Ravi also told reporters separately that the state would recover the costs of the assets destroyed – much like Uttar Pradesh which made a similar move after clashes over the Citizenship Amendment Act earlier this year.
The Karnataka government has ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incidents of violence that was triggered by a blasphemous Facebook post on Tuesday evening. Three people have died, 60 policemen injured and over 145 have been arrested.
Bommai defended firing by police saying it was done as the last resort and the situation was now fully under control. “The District Executive Magistrate will carry out a thorough investigation into the violence that took place within the limits of Devarajeevanahalli (DJ Halli) and Kadugodanahalli (KG Halli) police stations in Bengaluru,”
Several leaders including Bangalore South MP Tejasvi Surya, Revenue Minister R Ashok and Tourism Minister Ravi had earlier urged CM Yediyurappa to ensure miscreants are identified and are made to pay for the losses inflicted on the property at the two police stations and the neighbourhood.
Bengaluru is known for its peace and harmonious society.
We must protect this strength of our city at all costs pic.twitter.com/KCeS7QGCce
— Tejasvi Surya (@Tejasvi_Surya) August 12, 2020
Among those detained was Social Democratic Party of India leader Muzamil Pasha, the police confirmed. “However, we are yet to ascertain the exact degree of his involvement in the issue,” a senior police official said.
Curfew has been declared in the violence-hit areas that have narrow, crowded roads and a relatively high proportion of Muslim residents.
Leaders from the Muslim community met city police commissioner Kamal Pant earlier in the day and told him that the police were slow to act on complaints about the social media post the community leaders found offensive.
The violence in #Bengaluru & the objectionable/offensive social media posts are highly condemnable. I appeal to everyone involved to not indulge in violence. I hope peace is strengthened
— Asaduddin Owaisi (@asadowaisi) August 12, 2020
While the police are yet to zero in on how the violence started, a political battle was well on way over it between the state’s ruling BJP and the Congress.
Political affiliation of Navin, the main culprit whose Facebook post targeting Prophet Muhammad outraged Muslims and who has been arrested, was a subject of intense debate on television channels Wednesday evening. Since he is related to Congress MLA Akhand Srinivas Murthy, BJP was claiming that it was a conspiracy of the Congress. But Congress claimed he was a BJP worker.
The BJP used the hashtag #CongressSupportsRiots, claiming that the Congress had blamed the police and not the rioters. The Congress’s former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said, ” Both Hindus & Muslims should strive to maintain peace, as anti-Hindu”.
Another former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy of the Janata Dal Secular, said no community was above the law. “Such incidents indicate that this is a pre-planned attack. An explosion of people’s frustration due to nepotism by local representatives and their hunger for power,” he added.
Former Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Dinesh Gundu Rao alleged that Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) general secretary B. L. Santosh was using the Bengaluru riots to gain political mileage.
Rao said, “His (Santosh’s) statement is a crude attempt to communalise the issue, aimed at dividing on caste lines. Pathetic and deplorable. That’s what BJP and RSS do best, play politics with dead bodies.”