The dominant Vokkaliga community of Karnataka is holding a massive protest in Bengaluru on Wednesday, September 11, against the arrest of Congress strongman DK Shivakumar in a money laundering case.
The protesters will conduct a march from the National College grounds to the governor's residence, staring at 11.30 am. The protest is expected to continue till 3 pm and nearly 35,000 people belonging to the Vokkaliga community are expected to join the rally. Over 5,000 people have already gathered near Freedom Park in the city.
Congress, Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) and other outfits including Vokkaliga Sangha and the Karnataka Rakshana Vedike have named the protest "Raj Bhavan Chalo". The Vokkaliga community members have blamed Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah for the arrest of DKS and have warned the central leadership of severe political counterstroke if they continue to target the community and its leaders.
Security has been tightened around the central part of the city and Karnataka Special Reserve Police (KSRP) battalion has been positioned at many areas to counter any outbreak of violence. Severe traffic congestion is also expected in several parts of the city.
Bengaluru City Police commissioner Bhaskar Rao told media that 5,000 policemen have been deployed in view of the march. An additional 50 platoons of KSRP, City Armed Reserve (CAR) and over 500 home guards will be deployed during the protests.
Rao also said that strict action will be taken against the people who violate the rules and guidelines issued by the city police. More than 500 temporary surveillance cameras will be fixed across the streets. Police officers in civilian clothes will also shoot the events with handheld cameras.
A huge number of Shivakumar's supporters from Ramanagara and Kanakapura are arriving in the city to participate in the rally. Mysuru Road, Satellite bus stand in Kengeri and Central Business District (CBD) including MG Road, Vidhan Soudha, Richmond Circle, Palace Road and Indiranagar will be hit by severe traffic blocks.
The Bengaluru traffic police have also diverted the traffic on some of the busy roads, including Majestic, KR Market, Anand Rao Circle, Maharani's College and Cubbon Park Road.