Karnataka minister CT Ravi on Wednesday claimed that the violence that broke out in Bengaluru earlier in the day was orchestrated, NDTV reported. The minister added that the state would emulate the Uttar Pradesh government and recover losses from the damage caused to public property from the protestors.
At least three people were killed and around 60 personnel were injured in Bengaluru when protestors clashed with the police during a protest. The demonstrations began after a relative of Congress MLA R Akhanda Srinivas Murthy put up a Facebook post that was allegedly offensive to Islam. Murthy’s relative was arrested.
Additionally, at least 145 people have been arrested in connection with the violence so far. A ban on large gatherings was imposed in DJ Halli, KG Halli and Kavalbyrasandra areas.
“The riot was planned,” Ravi told reporters. “Petrol bombs and stones were used in destruction of property. Over 300 vehicles were burnt. We have suspects but can only confirm after investigation.... We will do asset recovery from rioters like in Uttar Pradesh.”
The Adityanath-led government in Uttar Pradesh in March had passed a UP Recovery of Damage to Public Properties Ordinance, 2020, for recovery of losses of government and private properties during political processions.
Karnataka’s Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai also said the government will recover the losses, arising from the damage to public property during the violence from the protestors, News18 reported.
“We have come to a decision as per the Supreme Court order that when such riots take place and properties are damaged, the loss has to be recovered from those who have caused the damage,” he was quoted as saying by the channel. “I have given orders to initiate all the measures to recover losses from those who have caused the damage.”
Bommai said that buses, vehicles and properties were burnt in DJ Halli and KG Halli police station limits. “There is media and CCTV footage,” he said.
Earlier on Wednesday, Bengaluru South MP Tejasvi Surya wrote to Yediyurappa requesting him to confiscate the properties of the protestors and recover losses caused to public property “in the same way as Adityanath did in UP”. “ Bengaluru is known for its peace and harmonious society,” he tweeted. “We must protect this strength of our city at all costs.”
Karnataka orders magisterial inquiry
Meanwhile, Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on Wednesday said the government will conduct a inquiry by a magistrate into the incident.
Bommai said the decision for an inquiry was taken at a meeting headed by Yediyurappa. “There are National Human Rights Commission guidelines for such a situation, as per which the inquiry will be conducted by the district executive magistrate,” he was quoted as saying by News18.
A group of protesters vandalised Murthy’s house and torched the vehicles parked outside the property. The police opened fire, used tear gas and baton-charged people to control the situation. Commissioner of Police Kamal Pant said the Rapid Action Force, Central Reserve Police Force and Central Industrial Security would be brought in to strengthen security arrangements in the city.
Opposition leaders in Karnataka expressed shock over the violence in Bengaluru and assured the Yediyurappa-led government of help in restoring the law and order situation. They also appealed to the people to stay calm. Karnataka Congress President DK Shivakumar called a meeting of party MLAs to discuss the situation in Bengaluru.