Committed to change some people’s path of unrest: K’taka Minister

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Committed to change some people’s path of unrest: K’taka Minister

Bengaluru: If unrest is the way of life for a few people, then the state government is committed to changing that path, said a minister on Wednesday after arson, riot and vandalism rocked Bengaluru.

“If unrest is the way of a few, our government is committed to changing that path. Our police system is solid,” said Revenue Minister R. Ashok.

On Tuesday night, hundreds of people ran amok after Congress MLA Akanda Srinivas Murthy’s nephew Naveen posted a derogatory message on the social media.

The mobs pelted stones, injured 60 policemen, broke furniture and torched cars and two-wheelers in east Bengaluru’s DJ Halli, KG Halli, Pulikeshinagar and Kaval Byrasandra.

Ashok visited the riot hit places and took stock of the situation.

He inspected a burnt bus which was used to transport policemen to bring the situation under control and issued an appeal saying ‘let us live in peace’.

According to Ashok, locals at the scene of the riot had expressed suspicion that the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) was involved in the riot.

“Locals at the scene of the riot last night expressed suspicion that SDPI might be in place (involved). The government will also investigate in this direction,” he added.

On Wednesday afternoon, Karnataka BJP vice president and Member of Parliament Shoba Karandlaje visited a ransacked police station and inspected the destroyed vehicles in the basement.

“Mob didn’t even spare the police station, ransacked and burnt 50 plus vehicles in the station’s basement,” she said and attacked the state Congress party.

Meanwhile, Bengaluru police clamped a curfew in the city’s Banaswadi sub-division following the riot.

Murthy, whose house was attacked by the mob, alleged that 3,000-4,000 people had attacked his home.

In an emotional voice, the Congress MLA said the mob was armed with sharp weapons, sticks, rods and petrol bombs.

“The rioters were armed with sharp weapons, sticks, petrol bombs and rods. They have looted our house, stolen many things and burned our house,” he said.

Murthy said the 50-year-old home where he was born and raised has been destroyed beyond repair. He said all his brothers who are living with him have no place to stay in.

He said the mob wanted to kill him and that he had not seen anything like this in the past 25 years. He appealed to the government to punish the people responsible for all that has happened.

Murthy disowned his nephew Naveen, saying he has not had any relationship with him for the past 10 years.

Reportedly, Naveen’s house and vehicles have also been burnt in KG Halli.

The Pulikeshinagar constituency looked like a war zone with burnt vehicles, smashed window panes and stones, bricks and other items strewn on the roads.

The police were compelled to resort to firing to quell the rioting, resulting in the death of three persons. On Wednesday, their bodies were taken to Khuddus Saheb burial ground on Jayamahal Road for burial.

Police have banned all congregations and processions in and around the riot site.

The number of people arrested for rioting has risen to 145. Police are also looking at CCTV footage to identify more culprits.

Chief Minister B. S. Yediyurappa has directed state police chief Praveen Sood to take a tough stand against the rioters.

Yediyurappa told him to deploy more police forces and hold talks with the community leaders.

Home Minister Basavaraj S. Bommai said six additional CRPC platoons are being called from Chennai and Hyderabad to the city.

He said the Rapid Action Force (RAF) and Garuda commandos have been deployed at the riot-hit places.

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