Will Do Asset Recovery Like UP: Karnataka Minister After Bengaluru Clash
Three people died when the police opened fire to control the mob
The violence in Bengaluru last evening in which three persons died in police firing, was "planned", Karnataka Minister CT Ravi told reporters today. The minister also said the state would recover the costs of the assets destroyed -- much like BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh which made a similar move after clashes over the Citizenship Amendment Act earlier this year.
Violence had flared up at KG Halli and neighbouring DJ Halli in the city, where a police station and the house of a Congress MLA were attacked. Around 200 bikes kept outside the police station were set on fire and the building was damaged in the violence. Three people died when the police opened fire to control the mob. Many police personnel were injured, the officers have said.
The provocation was a Facebook post by a man known to be close to Congress MLA Srinivas Murthy. Through the morning, various leaders and ministers have repeatedly sent out messages of peace.
While the police are yet to zero in on how the violence started, a political battle is well on way over it between the state's ruling BJP and the Congress.
In the evening, Mr Ravi weighed in with his version of events, and a warning. "The riot was planned. Petrol bombs and stones were used in destruction of property. Over 300 vehicles were burnt," he told reporters.
"We have suspects but can only confirm after investigation... We will do asset recovery from rioters like in Uttar Pradesh," the minister added.
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 today and told him that the police were slow to act on complaints about the social media post the community leaders found offensive.
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, "People are trying to portray my statement that 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.