Karnataka Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Wednesday said that those who resorted to vandalising public property in the violence that erupted on Tuesday night in Bengaluru, would be made to pay for the damages. The process of recovering losses due to property damage would begin immediately, he said.
"In any state in the country, when there is a rioting case, the worth of public property damaged must be recovered from the persons who have committed the crime. We will take action immediately in this regard. We are identifying the persons and we will see that losses are recovered from them," Basavaraj Bommai said.
Picture courtesy: Arun Dev
The state's Home Minister also issued a warning against disrupting law and order in the state. "I want to warn the people that they cannot take law into their hands and some people think they are the law. We will expose the conspiracy in the course of the investigation," he said.
A huge mob had gathered outside the DJ Halli Police Station on Tuesday protesting against a "derogatory comment" that was uploaded by the nephew of Pulakeshi Nagar MLA Akhanda Srinivas Murthy against Prophet Muhammad. The mob consisting of hundreds from the Muslim community, gathered around the police station and began pelting stones, and vandalising vehicles in the vicinity. Police and civilian vehicles were set on fire.
Around 500 people also gathered outside the KG Halli Police Station and also vandalised the building and vehicles. MLA Akhanda Srinivas Murthy's under construction home, adjacent or his current residence, was also set ablaze by the mob. The police opened fire at round midnight to disperse the crowds. Three people died in the violence including Javeed Khan (19), Yasin Pasha (22) and Sheikh Sadiq (24), all of whom were residents of DJ Halli. As many as 60 police personnel and 12 others among the mob were injured.
Speaking to TNM, Bengaluru Police Commissioner Kamal Pant said that the extent of property damage is still being determined. The basement of the new DJ Halli Police Station was set on fire. Stones were pelted at the building, leading to severe damage to the interiors on both floors of the building, he said.
Picture courtesy: Arun Dev
In addition, two buses, two jeeps and six motorcycles belonging to the police were set ablaze. "The mob also set on fire 200 seized vehicles that were parked near the DJ Halli Police station. KG Halli police station was also vandalised. This is only the damage to property within the police control. Besides this, the MLA's house was set on fire. Around 50 to 60 vehicles belonging to civilians were destroyed or set on fire," Commissioner Kamal Pant said.