A mob rampaged through Bengaluru’s Pulakeshi Nagar Tuesday night and vandalised a police station and a Congress legislator’s residence after an alleged relative of the MLA shared a social media post purportedly on a communal issue, police said.
A large number of people gathered near MLA Akhanda Srinivasa Murthy’s residence and vandalised it and damaged the vehicles parked there.
The mob then targeted the police station and damaged vehicles believing that the police had kept the accused detained there, they said.
The police teams that tried to contain the violence also bore the brunt of the mob as their vehicles were damaged, eye-witnesses said.
Police sources said a person said to be a close relative of Murthy allegedly shared a social media post that enraged members of a community.
Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai said riots and arson are against law and warned the rioters that he has given police a free hand to contain the violence.
Later, MLA Murthy appealed to the community members to not resort to violence.
“I am appealing to my Muslim brethren that we should not resort to violence for the fault committed by some miscreants. There is no need to fight. We all are brothers. We will get the person punished as per law. We will also be with you. I appeal to the Muslim friends to be calm,” he said in a video message.
Congress MLA and former minister B Z Zameer Ahmed Khan said the violence was unfortunate.
“I am hopeful that police will take action against all those who are responsible for this. I also request everyone to stay calm and maintain peace in the area,” Khan tweeted.
After learning about the incident, the Bengaluru Police Commissioner Kamal Pant had rushed to the spot but his intervention too did not stop the rioters.
Later, the Bengaluru police tweeted that it had to lathi-charged the mob, lob the tear gas and finally open fire to control them.
The police said the culprits of Tuesday’s violence and arson will not be spared.