A protest organised by Bengaluru activists on Wednesday to “against right-wing mob violence and police brutality in Delhi" has been called off. The protest was set to take place at Bengaluru's Town Hall from 4 pm to 6 pm on February 26.
Though many activists had shared the details of the protest on social media, one of the organisers put out a tweet to announce that it had been called off, around 12 pm. Organisers had initially given an intimation letter to the police at SJ park police station, but the police issued a signed rejection.
Instead, organisers urged those who had planned to go to the Town Hall protest to instead head to the women’s protest being held at the ‘Bilal Bagh’ on Tannery Road.
The police had earlier asked the activists to come with a bond on the day of the protest, the organiser said, but the police decided not to go forward with permission, citing “the prevailing situation and security concerns in Bengaluru.”
One of the organisers of the protest said, “The police in their rejection letter stated that we can come back to schedule a protest at a later date.”
The Home Minister of Karnataka Basavaraj Bommai made a statement on February 25, noting that the Karnataka police would take precautionary measures to prevent violence. He said, “…We have been keeping a close watch on the developments. Even more so after the Delhi incidents. I have instructed my officers to be on alert and take precautionary actions, rather than actions after the incidents."
He also cites a meeting with law enforcement officers on February 23 to keep a close watch on the individuals involved in protests. “We had a high level meeting. All aspects have been decided, regarding the people who are organising in the background, people who are participating. We are having a close watch, we are on alert.” He added that preventive detention would take place depending on the situation.
TNM had previously reported that BJP Minister BC Patil wanted a law to shoot 'anti-nationals' on sight. He had said, “We need a new law in India. People who shout anti-India and pro-Pakistani slogans should be shot in the eye, and a law should be brought to this effect in the country. This is of immediate importance.”
Riots in parts of northeast New Delhi have continued since Sunday. Scores have been injured in the violence, including journalists and police, while the death toll has reached 20 people.