A protest in Karnataka by members of the Banjara community turned violent on Monday as some of the agitators threw stones at the house of Bharatiya Janata Party leader and former Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, reported The Indian Express.

The community is holding protests against the BJP government’s decision to grant internal reservation to more than 100 caste groups within the 17% quota set aside for the Scheduled Castes.

On March 24, the state Cabinet recommended to the Centre to further categorise the 17% quota into 6% reservation for Scheduled Castes (Left), 5.5% for Scheduled Castes (Right), 4.5% for “touchables” and 1% for others, reported NDTV.

Within the Scheduled Castes, the followers of Babu Jagjivan Ram are categorised as “Right” and those of BR Ambedkar as “Left”.

The Banjaras, who along with the Bhovi, Korcha and Kuruma communities, belong to the “touchables” category, are unhappy with the government’s decision.

On Monday, protestors, under the banner of Banjara Seva Sangha, had gathered outside Yediyurappa’s home in Shivamogga district. The demanded that either Yediyurappa or his son and Shivamogga MP BY Raghavendra should meet them and receive a memorandum. The police resorted to baton-charging to dispel the protestors.

Angered by police action, the protesters threw stones at Yediyurappa’s house. A police constable was injured in the incident. The protesters also burnt photos of Yediyurappa and Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai.

The district adminstration has imposed a ban on gathering of four or more persons under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

Meanwhile, Yediyurappa told reporters in Bengaluru that the protests were being held due to misconception about the government’s decision, but he refused to blame anyone for the violence. He said it was too early to say whether the protesters had been provoked.

“Issuing any statement before talking to the protesters is not right,” Yediyurappa added. “At this moment, I am not ready to say that someone was behind the protest.”

Bommai, however, accused the Congress of instigating the protestors.

“Unable to bear that the BJP has provided social justice to these communities, they are provoking violence,” he alleged. “The Banjara community should not fall for this. The BJP has always protected the community and will continue to do so.”