At least three people died after police opened fire at angry mobs who attacked a Congress MLA's residence in Bengaluru, after a communal social media post insulting Prophet Muhammad, shared allegedly by the leader's relative, sparked outrage. Police also took to lathi-charge and tear gas to disperse the violent crowd.
In light of this incident, news reports claimed that a mob of 60,000 had attacked the police on August 11.
Hindustan Times mentioned the unverified figure of 60,000 on their headline.
Swarajya, The Free Press Journal, right-wing blog OpIndia also reported the same information. Interestingly, these reports cited the Hindustan Times as the source of this piece of information.
A mob of 60,000 had attacked the Bengaluru police on August 11.
The claim is unverified.
Origin Of Claim
On August 12, ANI posted a video where a reporter was interviewing a man who by his own admission is "from the police department". In the video, the reporter can be heard asking, "How much [large] was the crowd?". To which the man answered, "Somewhere around 50,000-60,000."
#WATCH Bengaluru: Sharif, belonging to Civil Defence & an eye-witness to DJ Halli Police Station's vandalisation, comes to record his statement; says, "We're from Civil Defence & had come to protect Police. It was public's fault. This (Police Station) is like my temple,my masjid" pic.twitter.com/XeVyaK5Z1O— ANI (@ANI) August 12, 2020
Different Figures, None Close To 60,000
The Logical Indian reached out to Zia Nomani, member of Swaraj India political party, who was present at the scene. He said that the mob consisted of an estimate of 1000-1200 people.
In a Deccan Herald report, MLA Akhanda Srinivas Murthy claimed that a mob of about 3,000 to 4,000 attacked his house. It added that a crowd of 600 attacked KG Halli police station.
Citing initial police probe and eyewitness accounts, a report by The Quint says that "there were two simultaneous attacks – one at the police station and one at the MLA's house".
Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) leader Muzammil Pasha who had visited DG Halli police station at around 7:45 PM to file a complaint against Naveen (MLA Akhanda Srinivas Murthy' nephew) was accompanied by a crowd of 150.
Simultaneously, another mob headed towards the Congress MLA's house in the same area. Naveen's father, T Pavan Kumar, stated that a mob of 500-800 passed by his house at 8:30 PM.
CNN News18 journalist DP Satish tweeted, "A mob of 2000 people had attacked a police station and local Congress MLAs house".
@BlrCityPolice arrest an SDPI leader Muzamil Pasha for the riots at DJ Halli area in #Bengaluru last night. A mob of 2000 people had attacked a police station and local Congress MLAs house. Looks like a well planned conspiracy. CM angry with city police for not acting swiftly.— DP SATISH (@dp_satish) August 12, 2020
None of the reports mentioned a figure close to 60,000.
Hindustan Times issued a clarification on their updated report and changed the headline.
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