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Mob attacks Bengaluru MLA's house; three dead

Bengaluru MLA's house attacked by mob over Facebook post; three dead, two injured

Curfew has been imposed in Banaswadi Police Sub-Division, in Bengaluru after an irate mob on Tuesday night attacked the house of Congress MLA Akhanda Srinivasamurthy over a defamatory post against religion. Three persons died and two others were injured in the attack.

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Many policemen have also been injured in the incident including a couple of senior officers. More than 7-8 vehicles have been set on fire. The mob comprising over 100 people also torched about 15 vehicles, besides pelting stones at the MLA's house and other adjoining houses in Kaval Byrasandra in North-East Bengaluru.

Armed with sticks, iron rods, sharp metal objects and other weapons, the protestors barged into the house of the MLA and pelted stones. The mob even attacked those who were capturing the violent incident on their phone cameras. The cameras and mobiles were snatched and were damaged completely according to eyewitnesses. Sources also revealed that the mob arranged vehicles in front of the DJ Halli police station and set them on fire, besides pelting stones at the station. 

The protesters even attacked the vehicle of North-East Division Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Bheemashankar Guled. Trying to take control of the situation, the DCP visited the spot and he was stopped by the protesters in front of the police station gate and began pelting stones. Even as the police personnel were escorting the DCP to a safe location, the mob attacked the car and damaged it. They also assaulted the driver of the vehicle.

Sources close to the MLA revealed to DH that the mob was reportedly angered over a derogatory Facebook post on religion, alleged to have been posted by MLA's brother-in-law. A few others also revealed that the post was put up by the MLA's personal assistant. However, Bengaluru police revealed to DH that they are yet to verify these allegations. The mob took control of the area and sealed five to six crosses barring access to police personnel and fire and emergency service personnel. 

Following the incident, over 600 people stormed the KG Halli police station venting their anger and demanding justice. The incident which occurred at around 9:00 pm went out of control in less than an hour after the mob began to torch the vehicles and vandalise the houses nearby. Gripped by panic, the residents staying in surrounding areas were seen leaving houses along with kids and women to other areas.

Trying to control the situation and disperse the crowd, the police fired in the air in front of the KG Halli police station. However, there was no sign of control as the mob continued with their violence protest. In the resulting violence, one person was found dead while the three others were injured severely. However, the police refused to confirm whether the person died in the firing, violence or stampede.

In the meantime, MLA Akhanda Srinivasamurthy released a video where he said, "I appeal to all my Muslim brethren to maintain peace and not to get carried away by the rumours and miscreants' words. Be it a Hindu or Muslim, we all are equal. Whoever it may be trying to disrupt the harmony, they will be dealt with seriously and will be punished by the police as per the law. But let us not resort to this violence and I request all of you to keep calm."

Following the violent protests, Chamarajpet MLA BZ Zameer Ahmed Khan also rushed to the spot and visited KG Halli police station. According to sources, Police Commissioner Kamal Pant also rushed to the spot.

"The government will take action against those who are responsible behind the attack. Resorting to violence, torching of vehicles is against the law and not a solution to any problem. Any issue can be legally pursued and taken to a logical end. I have already directed the police commissioner to visit the spot and take control of the situation," said Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai.

Bengaluru's Police Commissioner, Kamal Pant said the situation is under control in KG Halli and DJ Halli. "The mob started gathering and creating ruckus in small groups by 7.30 pm to 8 pm. But it came to limelight much later. We had to walk for more than 1.5 km to reach the incident spot, he said."