In the midst of the political crisis in Karnataka, Section 144 (unlawful assembly) was imposed in Bengaluru for 48 hours by the Commissioner of Police Alok Kumar, starting from 6 pm on Tuesday. Though prohibitory orders were in place around the Vidhana Soudha building, it has now been extended to the entire city. Section 144 (Power to issue order in urgent cases of nuisance of apprehended danger) will be in place till 6 pm on July 25.
"Due to the tension prevailing on either side, various political groups gathering here and there and coming face to face with each other, to prevent any untoward incident, we have declared Section 144 all over Bengaluru city police limits and we have also declared that there will be prohibition and all bars, pubs and wine shops will be closed today and tomorrow," Bengaluru Police Commissioner Alok Kumar told the media.
This came just as Congress and JD(S) workers gathered outside an apartment building at Race Course Road, where two independent MLAs – H Nagesh and R Shankar – are reportedly staying. This is where BJP MLA R Ashoka also lives. The two independent MLAs R Shankar and H Nagesh were spotted walking out of the Nitesh Apartments complex on Race Course Road and within minutes, Congress and JD(S) workers gathered at the apartments in an attempt to block the MLAs from going to the Vidhana Soudha for the trust vote.
The prohibitory orders come with just minutes to go for the trust vote in the Karnataka Assembly, which was scheduled for 6 pm on Tuesday. The JD(S)-Congress government had promised to go ahead with the floor test late on Monday night, with Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar giving the ruling combine the deadline. The latest deadline had come after the ruling coalition had delayed the trust vote from Thursday, bypassing two deadlines set by Governor Vajubhai Vala.