Communal clashes in Karnataka over social media post: All you need to know
- A person put up an offensive social media post about a community
- Community members filed a police complaint and cops arrested the accused
- At midnight, a mob of people attacked a police station
Nearly 40 people have been arrested after a mob pelted stones at the old Huballi police station in Karnataka’s Dharwad district on Saturday. The incident left 12 cops injured, including an inspector. The attack took place after a man was accused of putting up a post which allegedly cast the Muslim community in a bad light. Cops arrested the man, and a case was registered against him. But this was not enough for the complainants who attacked the police station.
What was the trigger?
A man put up a post on social media allegedly targeting the Muslim community. The social media post offended members of the community who lodged a police complaint. Cops, responding to the complaint, arrested the man and registered a case. But the police action failed to satisfy the complainants.
A large number of people gathered outside the police station and started pelting stones at around midnight and went on a rampage, according to Hubli-Dharwad police commissioner Labhu Ram.
“Six cases have been registered against those involved in the violence and the situation is under control now…We have taken all preventive measures to stop the repetition of such incidents,” the police commissioner added.
How Karnataka responded:
Karnataka CM Basavaraj Bommai has called the Saturday night rampage an organised attack and that the state will not tolerate incidents such as this. “I want to tell very clearly that whoever takes law into their hands, our police will not hesitate from taking stringent action against them,” he said.
“…Whoever is behind it and instigated the mob will be punished. I want to tell the organisations behind such incidents, not to break the law. Karnataka state will not tolerate it,” PTI quoted Bommai as saying.
Karnataka Home Minister Araga Jnanendra said that one police official has been hospitalised and is in a serious condition.
Karnataka’s communal troubles
Saturday’s incident follows a spate of communal polarisation in a state where this kind of communalism is fairly new. Over the last few months, Karnataka has been stuck in a communal quagmire with the ban on the hijab that saw large protests.
The rise in communalism in Karnataka has also had an impact on Bangalore’s reputation as a business-friendly information technology hub. Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, head of Biocon, tweeted on March 31: “Karnataka has always forged inclusive economic development and we must not allow such communal exclusion.”
Disagreeing with her tweet, Rajiv Chandrasekhar, Union minister of state, said, “There is no issue in Bengaluru that is beyond the reach of government. CM has said that those who violate the law will be investigated and prosecuted. Bengaluru is a cosmopolitan city.”