BENGALURU: Social Media Posts, Rumour Mills, TV Footage Of Attacks On Kannadigas in TN Spread Panic, Create Tension Police Open Fire On Mob Looting Shops; Scores Of TN Vehicles Torched in Bengaluru, Karnataka.
Curfew was imposed on 16 police limits of Bengaluru on Monday night after day-long violence in the southern and western swathes of the technology hub. One person was killed and five others were injured in police firing in northwest Bengaluru in the evening.
Curfew will be in force for three days in the police station limits of Rajagopal nagar, Kamakshipalya, Vijayanagar, Byatarayanpura, Kengeri, Magadi Road, Rajajinagar, RR Nagar, KP Agrahara, Chandra Layout, Yeshwantpur, Mahalakshmi Layout, Peenya, RMC Yard, Nandini Layout and Jnanabharathi. Curfew means people must stay indoors except during relaxation hours.
Police opened fire when looters attacked their Hoysala vehicle at Hegganahalli, off Tumakuru Road, leading to the death of one person and injury to five others. The dead man was identified as Umesh, 25, from Kunigal. An employee of a fuel station, he is survived by his wife and a four-month-old child. The injured are under treatment at hospitals. Three of them have been identified as Chandramohan Singh, 37, Yogesh, 22, and Pradeep, 25.
Bengaluru shut down by late afternoon amid fear of widespread violence and arson stoked by social media posts and a running loop of burning vehicles on local electronic media. Sporadic violence and rumour mills spread panic and forced schools and colleges to down shutters, leaving thousands of students stranded for hours. IT companies allowed their employees to leave early and provided them transport.
A bus of an IT company was stopped near PES College and the employees on board were ordered to walk home. The agitators even checked whether the employees could speak Kannada.
Earlier in the morning, mobs protesting the day’s Supreme Court verdict on water release -and claiming to retaliate against the harassment of Kannadigas in the neighbouring state -indulged in arson and rioting largely in western and southern parts of the city.
About 60 vehicles bearing TN numbers were set on fire and their crew beaten up. Home minister G Parameshwara said: “We can’t provide protection to every vehicle on the road. The protest over Cauvery taking a violent turn is unfortunate.” He put the number of vehicles set on fire at 27. One SUV was set on fire in Nayandahalli.
Around 5pm, Bengaluru police commissioner NS Megharikh imposed prohibitory orders in the city under Section 144 of CrPC for three days. Hours later, police scaled up the restriction and also banned the sale of liquor for three days.
The Centre sought a report on the situation from the state government, even as chief minister Siddaramaiah dashed off a letter to Union home minister Rajnath Singh seeking additional paramilitary personnel. Rajnath called up the CMs of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu and promised cen tral assistance to restore peace.
Monday had dawned peacefully on the city after an extended weekend. But as soon as TV channels beamed reports of violence against Kannadigas in Tamil Nadu, a truck was torched on Nice Road near Electronics City. The reports went viral on social media, creating panic and tension.
Post-noon, mobs turned up at the Mysuru Road Satellite Bus Stand and attacked TN registration trucks at Timber Yard Lay out nearby, prompting the Rapid Action Force to burst tear gas shells.
Rumours went viral on social media, prompting schools, private companies and business establishments to shut down for the day. Delivery services shut operations, while no cabs were available on apps. By 3pm, the city’s roads were filled with panicky motorists; a couple of hours later, most of the city, including the CBD, wore a deserted look.