The minister spoke on the need to ‘discuss ways to tackle social media posts that can cause unrest in society’.

Police holding lathis and wearing protective clothing during the riots which took place in Bangalore on August 12PTI
news Bengaluru violence Monday, August 17, 2020 - 08:54

With prohibitory orders clamped on riot-hit areas of the city being extended till August 18, the Karnataka government on Sunday said it would soon hold a meeting to discuss ways to tackle social media posts that can cause unrest in the society, in the backdrop of recent violence in Bengaluru.

Bengaluru Police Commissioner Kamal Pant, in his order said there is a ban on more than two persons gathering at any place, carrying any kind of weapon and convening any public meeting. Violators would be prosecuted, he said. As a precautionary measure, the city police has extended the prohibitory orders till August 18.

Speaking to reporters, Karnataka Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai said, "In view of inflammatory posts on Facebook and WhatsApp among others, I have decided to hold a meeting with cyber crime experts next week."

Noting that inflammatory social media posts causing disturbance in society was a nationwide issue, he said he would meet technical experts and find out what the social media companies can do, what measures they have taken now and what steps they can take in future.

Three people were killed after police opened fire to quell a mob that went on a rampage in D J Halli and adjoining areas on Tuesday night over an inflammatory social media post allegedly put out by P Naveen, a relative of Congress MLA R Akhanda Srinivasa Murthy.

The MLA’s residence and a police station at D J Halli were torched by the rioters, who also set many police and private vehicles on fire. Police said that they have so far filed five cases in Devara Jeevanahalli and Kadugondanahalli police stations, and 264 people have been arrested in connection with rioting. No juveniles have been arrested in connection with this, police said.

Meanwhile, state Forest Minister Anand Singh said MLA Murthy deserved more security since the riots targeting him were ‘pre-planned'. "Once the investigation is completed, we will get to know about the background and conspiracy behind the riots, but security should have been provided. We have heard that it (riot) was a pre-planned one," Singh told reporters in Davangere, while replying to a question on Bengaluru riots.

The Congress has been accusing the BJP government, especially the Home Minister, of its 'intelligence failure' to contain the riots and delay in taking action on time, which had put the life of its MLA and his family at risk.

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