Opposition leaders in Karnataka on Wednesday expressed shock over the violence in Bengaluru that left three people dead and assured the BS Yediyurappa-led government of help in restoring the law and order situation. They also appealed to the people to stay calm.
Violence broke out in Bengaluru on Tuesday night over an allegedly derogatory Facebook post about Prophet Muhammad by a relative of Congress MLA R Akhanda Srinivas Murthy. Sixty police personnel were also injured in the violence.
Authorities imposed Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which prohibits the gathering of four or more people at a place, in Bengaluru. A curfew was also imposed in DJ Halli, KG Halli and Kavalbyrasandra areas. Commissioner of Police Kamal Pant told ANI that the Rapid Action Force, Central Reserve Police Force and Central Industrial Security will be brought in for reinforcement.
Karnataka Congress President DK Shivakumar called a meeting of party MLAs to discuss the situation in Bengaluru, according to ANI. “I have spoken to our Congress Legislative Party leader Siddaramaiah, we will give full support to government to maintain peace and harmony,” he was quoted as saying by the news agency.
In a tweet, Shivakumar said that no one should be allowed to take the law into their hands. “I condemn the violence that has happened in Bengaluru,” he said. “The government must take strict and exemplary action against the person who made the derogatory social media post as well as those who indulged in rioting and arson.”
Senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah, meanwhile, spoke to Bengaluru Police Commissioner Pant and asked him to immediately arrest the people who instigated the violence. “I urge leaders from both the religion to discuss and resolve the issue amicably and restore peace in the area,” he wrote on Twitter. “I condemn both violent incident that erupted in Kaval Byrsandra and also the social media post that instigated the mob. I humbly request both Hindus and Muslims of the area to stay calm, maintain peace and live in harmony.”
Siddaramaiah also expressed anger over the attack on journalists who went to cover the violence.
Former Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy also demanded strict punishment for the people who instigated the violence. His father and Janata Dal (Secular) President HD Deve Gowda said it was wrong to provoke and mislead the people. “I appeal to the government to take decisive action,” he wrote on Twitter.
Congress MLAs BZ Zameer Ahmed Khan and MLA Rizwan Arshad appealed to the people to maintain peace. “The incident that is happening in Kaval Byrsandra is unfortunate,” Khan tweeted. “I am hopeful that police will take action against all those who are responsible for this.”