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Violence in B'luru over derogatory social media post; two killed in police firing

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Violence in Bluru over derogatory social media post; two killed in police firing
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The grainy image shows people gathered in front of a house in flames, Courtesy: The Week

Bengaluru (IANS): Violent protests broke out in eastern Bengaluru late on Tuesday night over a "derogatory message' about Prophet Mohammed posted by a Congress legislator Akanda Srinivas Murthy's nephew Naveen criticising Prophet Muhammad on social media.

In the police firing that followed, two people were killed and one was injured, police commissioner Kamal Pant informed. About sixty policemen including additional commissioner of police, were also injured.

A mob gathered outside Congress legislator's house, where they shouted slogans against the post and also resorted to arson.

The mob was demanding the arrest of Naveen, who is related to Murthy and rioted in DJ Halli, KG Halli and Pulakeshi Nagar.

Murthy, the legislator from Pulikeshi Nagar, posted a video on social media asking the mob to stop the agitation.

"Please don't resort to violence over the mischievous work of some miscreants," appealed Murthy.

A large mob was also seen opposite KG Halli police station in the city. Restrictions under Section 144 of CrPC imposed in Bengaluru & curfew imposed in DJ Halli & KG Halli police station limits of the city, Kamal Pant tweeted.

Another mob barged into the DJ Halli police station and torched some vehicles and vandalised furniture, proceeding to attack a few policemen.

Hundreds of protesters raised slogans and continuously banged the gate of DJ Halli police station.

However, Naveen reacted that he did not intentionally make any post insulting the Prophet, and his account was hacked by some one.

The mob chanted slogans even as some members from the same community tried to calm down the mob. As the tension grew, video posts showing a group of Muslim youth guarding a temple from any possible attack, were also in circulation.

'Mat karo', said one of the persons who tried to calm down the mob as many mask-wearing protesters came out into the streets.

Meanwhile, to control and disperse the mob, policemen in riot gear were deployed and baton-charged protesters who resorted to arson and also overturned the police vehicle.

Chamarajpet MLA B. Z. Zameer Ahmed Khan also requested the rioters to stay calm and maintain peace in the area.

"The incident that is happening in Kaval Bysandra is unfortunate. I am hopeful that police will take action against all those who are responsible for this," said Khan.

City Police Commissioner Kamal Pant visited the riot-hit areas where a heavy police presence has been deployed, an official said on Wednesday.

"Unfortunate incidents have occurred in localities like DJ Halli and KG Halli. Police carried out a baton charge to bring the situation under control," said a police official adding strict action will be taken against guilty.

Stte home minister Basavaraj Bommai said that a probe would be made about the controversial Facebook post. He added that more police were deployed in the area, that creating tension was not a solution and strict action would be taken against miscreants.

More than an hour ago, Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind leader Mufti PM Muzzamil also sent out a video message from outside the DJ Halli police station, flashing a paper in his hand.

He said an FIR was lodged against the person who made the derogatory post and assured the protesters that he will be arrested.

Muzzamil appealed the rioters to keep their emotions in control.

Meanwhile, police mistook a couple of journalists as rioters and hit them with a pole.

"Your police hit my head with a pole even though we kept yelling we are reporters," complained a television journalist to the police commissioner.

Another journalist who went to cover the riot was hit in the back.

"We had to run from your police to save ourselves when there was a no mob present," said the injured journalist whose head was seen bleeding.

The journalist said that he and others came to see what is actually happening at the ground zero but were attacked by the police without any provocation even though there was no mob around.

More than 110 persons have been arrested for violence and more are likely to follow.

(With input from IANS)

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