A 22-year-old student was thrashed by a group of locals in Bengaluru on Saturday, for allegedly posting derogatory comments on social media about Kannada actors' protest over the Cauvery water dispute.
The Supreme Court directive to Karnataka to release 15,000 cusecs of Cauvery water for 10 days had sparked up wide-spread agitation, with a state-wide bandh observed on Friday. Numerous Kannada organsations took to the streets in protest of the order.
A day after the bandh, the student who is said to have roots in Tamil Nadu was attacked by locals.
According to reports, Santosh D is an engineering student studying in a private college in Banashankari and a resident of Sriramapuram. He posted messages mocking Kannada actors Shivarajkumar, âDuniyaâ Vijay, Ragini Dwivedi and Darshan for their participation in the protests over the Cauvery dispute.
Irked by his posts that reportedly went viral, some locals tracked him down on Saturday evening and beat him up when he arrived at the college.
Screenshot published by Bfirst
In a video footage of the attack, a group of five men can be seen surrounding Santosh. They repeatedly slap him on the face and beat him up.
The New Indian Express reports that though the attackers tried to take him to the police station, the Girinagar police refused to file a complaint.
Girinagar Inspector Koteresh told The News Minute that they came to know about the incident through a media report. He denied reports that Santosh was taken to the police station by the attackers.
âNeither has Santosh filed a complaint against the attackers, nor has anybody else filed a complaint against him for posting derogatory comments. We could carry out a probe only when there is a complaint against one party,â he said.
Since the attack, troll messages against Santosh have also been doing rounds on social media.
Image from comments section on Samanya Kanandiga Facebook page
Distancing themselves from the attack, Sandeep Parswanath, president of Samanya Kannadiga said that though it is unacceptable to post derogatory messages about the on-going Cauvery issue, the locals shouldnât take law in their hands either.
âAfter the locals tracked him down to Girinagar, they should have informed the police about it. It is important to convey the message that posting anything derogatory on this issue will not go unattended,â Sandeep said.
The group will soon file a case against another youngster, who had on September 6 posted offensive message on Facebook. The post had come a day after the Supreme Court order directing Karnataka to release 15,000 cusecs of water to its neighbouring state Tamil Nadu.
âThe post said that Veerappan will make Kannadigas urinate in their pants. How can we not react to such incidents? We took up the issue with HR in his company. Though he has issued a written apology, we have demanded that he be terminated. Otherwise we will move legally against him,â Sandeep said.
âI did a mistake by posting such nasty comments against Kannada actors. I was born here in Karnataka, I made cheap comments against those who participated in the Cauvery agitation. But now I regret posting hate comments,â Bfirst quoted Santosh as saying.