Karnataka: BJP-Backed Protest Rally Takes Violent Turn As Protesters Pelt Stones At Cops & Torch Vehicles
Violence erupted in Karnataka when a protest organised by a Hindu group, led by a BJP MP went out of control on Tuesday. The rally was organised against the murder of a girl in North Karnataka’s Bidar district on January 27.
The protest went out of hand and youths started throwing stones on cops and set a police jeep on fire. An SP, two constables and the MP, Bhagwanth Khuba, were injured in the incident, as reported by News18.
Reason for protest
The Hindu Hitharakshana Vedike had called for the bandh on Tuesday and even sought permission for a bike rally through Ambedkar Chowk, the centre of the town, to protest against the 20-year-old girl’s murder.
The girl, Pooja, was murdered allegedly by a Muslim friend on January 27. It is said that they have been friends for three years. Lately, Pooja was avoiding the boy fearing her family’s wrath. According to the police, the boy was trying to initiate contact with the girl for a month. CCTV footage shows the girl taking off with the boy from outside her house. Pooja’s body was later found in a forest near Khanapur in Kosam village.
The 23-year-old accused has been arrested. The murder sparked massive outrage in the state with ABVP jumping to conclusions and tagging the murder as “Love Jihad”. On Tuesday, the protesters wanted to submit a memorandum to the district deputy commissioner’s office after holding a demonstration, according to News18.
They were not granted permission for the rally, even then the Hindu group started bike rallies from different parts of the area and almost 2,000 people gathered at Ambedkar Chowk. They were joined by Khuba and the BJP’s district president as well.
Even though permission was not granted, the police allowed the BJP leader to speak for an hour. The commotion started when they insisted on taking the procession through Old Fort Area, which is a Muslim-dominated area.
Police denied permission and took some of them into preventive custody. This angered the protesters and they started pelting stones at the cops. To control the mob, the police had to resort to lathi-charge. In the clashes, an SP, two constables and the BJP MP were wounded.
The Logical Indian contacted the Bidar police and they said that no arrests have been made yet but FIRs have been registered.
Khuba said that the entire responsibility of the chaos rests on the police. “We did not force shops to close down. Police were arbitrarily lathi-charging,” he said.
Demanding a judicial probe into the case, he also alleged that “anti-social” elements from outside the district had come and police did not control them. This led to many protesters getting injured, he said as reported by News18.