New Delhi: Triggered by an online post, a violent mob rampaged through Bengaluru's Pulakeshi Nagar on Tuesday (August 12) night and vandalized two police stations and the residence of Congress MLA Akhand Srinivas Murthy whose nephew allegedly shared a social media post against Prophet Mohammad Saheb.
Today's DNA report analyses as to how shouting slogans of Jai Shree Ram become communal, but people from the Muslim community's violent protest invites no reaction from those who call them champions of secularism.
The police had to open fire to control the irate crowd, in which at least 3 people were killed and scores, including 60 cops, were injured. The violent mob of Muslims vandalized Murthy's residence and damaged the vehicles parked there. The violence is stated to have been incited by SDPI of the Islamic fundamentalist organization PFI. SDPI's local leader has been arrested for his involvement in the violence.
PFI was also accused of funding the Delhi riots and in Bengaluru, violence has been triggered within six months of the riots in the national capital. Notably, over a thousand people gathered outside the police station, shouting religious slogans and vowing to give sacrifice. It is difficult to believe that all this happened in a modern city like Bengaluru.
We often see controversial posts on social media and many get arrested for the same. Liberal people then say that freedom of expression is being throttled, but the same ilk of people are now silent on the Bengaluru violence. No doubt, all religions should be respected, and nobody's religious sentiments should be hurt, but this condition should be applicable to all religions.
On the contrary, we see many people making fun of Hindu traditions and Hindu deities, making controversial remarks, but never a city is burnt for that. Not only this, Hindu Gods and Goddesses are sown in poor light but there are hardly any riots. Recently, two sadhus were killed in Palghar, but there was no violent protest. But when something about a particular class or about their religious faith, then it becomes communal. Bengaluru's violence is the glaring example of the same.
Eyewitnesses said that the mob attacked at least five times and the number of people attacking each time was increasing. A large number people perpetrating the violence were from outside the area. People opined that people outside were called to attack the MLA's house and the police stations to hide their identity.
Since Karnataka is currently governed by BJP's Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa, the state government has decided to follow the example of Uttar Pradesh to recover damages caused to public property from rioters. In Uttar Pradesh, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath enacted a law this year to recover damages from rioters.
Those who understand the mindset of riots know it well such violence never occurs suddenly, rather they are planned. In the Delhi riots, it was done in three phases. In the first phase, protests were organised against the Citizenship Act and the NRC, and in the second phase, areas were identified, roads were blocked, and in the third phase, riots were carried out.
The congregation of thousands of people within an hour of the controversial post on social media simply explains that the plan for riots was already prepared and these people were merely looking for a reason. The police have so far nabbed 150 rioters in Bangalore, besides arresting the Social Democratic Party of India's local leader Muzammil Pasha.
Since Muslims play a key role in vote bank politics, political parties are shying away from speaking openly against the rioters of Bangalore. Congress leader and former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said Muslim leaders should stop Muslim miscreants, while Hindu leaders should avoid provocative posts.
Although Congress MLA's house was attacked, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Vadra avoided making any comment on the Bengaluru violence fearing political repercussions. The Bengaluru violence has also exposed the mindset of "secular brigade" which seeks responsible behaviour from merely the majority population.
Meanwhile, the state government has announced that a district magistrate would conduct an inquiry into the violence. It also decided to recover losses caused to public property during the violence from the rioters.
The opposition Congress and JD(S) extended complete support to the state government in restoring peace in violence-hit parts of the city and demanded immediate action against the culprits.
The BJP, however, accused the Congress of not being "vocal" against the rioters, saying "appeasement" seemed to be its official policy.