The mobs attacked a politician’s house in Kavalbyrasandra, fought pitched battles with police, and set ablaze several vehicles. A police team lead by commisisoner Kamal Pant was attacked with stones. Scores of policemen including and several protestors too were injured in the violence.
With mobs erecting blockades on several roads leading to KG Halli and DJ Halli stations, additional police reinforcements had a tough time reaching the them.
A KSRP van heading to KG Halli station was attacked and stones were rained on the personnel, prompting police to open fire.
City police commissioner Kamal Pant said a mob hurled stones and bottles on police and blocked their way. “Without choice, we were forced to fire in air. At least 60 police officials are injured,” Pant said
A curfew has been imposed in areas under KG Halli, DJ Halli, Bharathinagar, Pulikeshinagar and Banaswadi police stations. Prohibitory orders under Section 144 of CrPC have been clamped on the entire Bengaluru City.
Police said the mobs were furious over an alleged social-media post by a close relative of the politician. That person deleted the post, claiming his account had been hacked into. He was whisked away for questioning.
The trouble began around 7pm when a mob gathered in front of the politician’s house and set two cars on fire. Around 150 armed police personnel from the east division were pressed into service. Senior police officials, including deputy commissioner of police (east) SD Sharanappa, tried to pacify the mob.
The mob split into groups. Groups of protesters went around and forced shopkeepers to down shutters in Pulakeshinagar, Bharatinagar, Commercial Street and Tannery Road. Vehicle tyres were set on fire and placed at several places on Tannery Road. A fire tender was also damaged.
Two huge mobs gathered in front of the KG Halli and DJ Halli police stations. “Police should arrest the accused immediately,” they demanded. They locked the gates of the stations from outside and attempted to barge in.
Several vehicles, including Innovas of two DCPs, were damaged in front of the stations. A jeep was set on fire in front of DJ Halli station. The situation remained volatile at the time of going to print. Ten vehicles were set on fire.
“We have reached out to community leaders and asked them to come to the police station and address the mob. The situation is under control,” a senior police officer told TOI. Protesters were camping at the two stations at the time of going to press.
“This is an act of miscreants. The police and government will investigate and initiate legal action against mischief-mongers. I’m the MLA of this constituency and everyone here is my family. I request you to maintain peace. I fear miscreants may take advantage of the situation,” Pulakeshinagar MLA Akhanda Srinivasamurthy said.
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