The Bengaluru Riots which occurred on the night of 11 August in the city of Bengaluru left it ablaze by a mob of thousands of rioters who were triggered by an alleged obscene Facebook post about Prophet Muhammad. The rioters went on to set fire on government property and vehicles. According to the Police Commissioner Bengaluru, Kamal Pant, 111 people have been arrested including the one who posted derogatory content on Facebook and 3 people have died in police retaliation. It has been reported that the mob was well equipped with stones, knives, petrol, kerosene, etc.
Bengaluru Riots: How did the riots unfold?
Naveen, who is a relative of MLA Srinivasa Murthy of Pulkeshi Nagar carried out a derogatory post on Facebook that offended the minority community causing the Bengaluru Riots. A mob of about 600 people gathered outside the MLA’s house on 11 August at around 8 pm and started vandalising the property outside the house in Kaval Byrasandra area. They took a step further and burned all the vehicles parked outside the house. The team of the fire brigade was deployed to the area but the angry mob vandalised their vehicles as well. An official from the fire department told Bangalore Mirror, “they broke the windshield of the vehicle and the vehicle had to be parked nearby in the RT Nagar police station. The mob has burnt down two cars, five bikes and an auto”.
The mob then went to the KG Halli police station to register a complaint against Naveen and demanded the police to take strict action against him. Meanwhile, thousands of people started protesting outside the police station which soon became violent where several police vehicles were burnt and many police personnel were attacked. Protestors threw stones and bottles filled with petrol. To quell the mob responsible for the Bengaluru Riots, police had to open fire and lodge tear gas.
A similar attack was found in DJ Halli police station. Soon, the police got permission to open fire in order to allay violence from the rioters’ end. This clash between the mob and the police led to the death of 3 protestors while around 60 policemen were injured. According to the Indian Express, Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai said that police had to resort to firing as the last step to bring the violence under control.
Even the media was not spared who were reporting the Bengaluru Riots. They were attacked during their ground reporting while the mob was entering the police quarters. Even the DCP’s vehicle was not spared and the driver of that vehicle was severely injured. Several incidents of houses and a bar being torched were also reported.
Bengaluru Riots: Further Actions undertaken by the Law Enforcements
After several hours of riots, the situation was finally brought under control. Section 144 was strictly imposed in the areas of DJ Halli and KG Halli police station. The next day, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee President DK Shivakumar called an urgent meeting which was attended by several Congress leaders including MLAs, MLCs and former mayors.
On 12 August, Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa tweeted, “Directions have been issued to the police to take strict action against the perpetrators involved in inciting violence at MLA Murthy’s residence”. He even added that the government will not tolerate such provocations and rumours.
In the latest update on Bengaluru Riots, the Bengaluru police have extended the curfew in the affected areas under DJ Halli and KG Halli police station up to 6 am on 15 August. The decision came on the night of 12 August.