A mob that went on rampage near Pulikeshinagar MLA’s house wanted to kill his nephew over an allegedly incendiary social media post, an FIR lodged over Tuesday night’s violence has said. The FIR added that the mob also tried to snatch weapons from policemen.
Three people were killed and more than 65 injured when police opened fire to quell the mob. Around 146 people have been arrested so far in connection with the violence that continued into the wee hours of Wednesday. Vehicles were damaged and set on fire near Pulikeshinagar MLA Akhanda Srinivasamurthy’s residence and a police station at DJ Halli.
According to the FIR, “600 to 800 people” gathered “with weapons” in violation of the Covid-19 lockdown outside the DJ Halli police station. They shouted abusive slogans against the police, saying they were not letting the mob “kill the man who made derogatory comments about our religion”, the FIR said. It further alleged that the mob assaulted policemen who blocked their way and torched government and private vehicles at the station.
Some policemen were injured and tried to lathi-charge the crowd but couldn’t control the mob. After informing higher officials, the policemen fired two warning shots in the air. The mob turned more violent and torched public property in nearby areas using petrol, the FIR said. It added that some in the mob used sticks, stones, clubs and rods to damage public property, and tried to enter the police station with petrol in bottles and plastic bags.
It was also announced twice that Section 144 was in place in the area and the gathering was illegal. The FIR said that just when the mob started to disperse, some of them tried to snatch police weapons. It was then that the police fired in self-defence, the FIR lodged at KG Halli Police Station said.
Prohibitory orders were imposed in DJ Halli and KG Halli police station limits soon after and will continue till 6 am on August 15.
Speaking to CNN-News18, Commissioner Kamal Pant said a total of five cases have been registered in this regard. While four pertain to the violence, one case was lodged over the social media post by the MLA’s nephew.
The top cop shot down speculation of delay on the part of police. “I can clarify that the social media post was made at 6pm, the mob started gathering at 7pm. By 7:45pm, they came and demanded that we secure and hand over (the MLA’s nephew). That was not possible. These are the facts,” Pant said.
“The DCP came here. But their intent was different. Their intent was not to register a case,” he added.