Bengaluru riots became a matter of national importance when a group of mobs attacked MLA's house, a police station and wreaked havoc in the city over a derogatory post about Prophet Mohammed. Hundreds of Muslims had gathered to protest the FB post, which was allegedly shared by MLA Akhanda Srinivasamurthy's nephew.
After more than 206 arrests, 3 deaths, Section 144 in the area, the riots were contained by the Bengaluru Police. The investigation is currently underway, but the police have made several arrests, including P Naveen, kin of Srinivasamurthy, along with 4 senior functionaries of SDPI as well as INC corporator Irshad Begum's husband Kaleem Pasha.
Political rivalry gone too far?
The police, based on their preliminary investigations, are suspecting that political rivalry led to the massive riots in East Bengaluru's DJ Halli, KJ Halli and Pulakeshinagar. Deputy Chief Minister CN Ashwath Narayan had said the scale of violence hinted towards the attacks being organised and Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai said the police suspect local political rivalry behind the incident.
One unidentified senior police official spoke to TOI to reveal that turf war between four politicians fuelled the riots to become so big. The officer said three former ministers felt threatened by the growth of MLA Srinivasamurthy so they joined forces along with a former corporator against the Pulakeshinagar MLA.
The derogatory FB post served a perfect opportunity to hurt the elected representative's growth, TOI reported.
"Till 7pm things were normal. There was only a demand for legal action against the FB post and the aggrieved approached both the MLA as well as police. But in no time the mobs swelled. The mobs' tactics had a guerilla element to them, raising doubts that they were planned in advance," the officer said.
The police officer also added that one of the 19 prime accused in the FIR is a close aide of one of the ex-ministers.
The riots took place ahead of BBMP elections and two contenders eyeing for the seat were Naveen and SDPI leader Muzammil Pasha.