As many as 20 people on February 21, we’re injured and around 50 vehicles torched during the funeral procession of a Bajrang Dal worker who was murdered on February 20 in Karnataka.
Violence in Karnataka:
Having no other choice the legal authorities had to lathicharge and fire teargas shells. Curfew was imposed in Shivamogga, about 270 km from Bengaluru.
Death of Bajrang Dal member:
During the late hours of February 20, 24-year-old old Harsha was stabbed by a group of men while he was on his way to have dinner at Bharathi Colony near New Thirthahalli Road.
However, the victim couldn’t survive and died during treatment. A day later, the police arrested three persons, Khasif, and Sayed Nadeem from Shivamogga and another person from Bengaluru.
According to sources, Harsha was an active member of Bajrang Dal for the last five years and worked for a courier delivery agency. He was reportedly attacked in the past for his hate posts on social media, they added.
The police suspect that his recent derogatory post on social media pertaining to the hijab protests could have angered some people.
Harsha’s pictures in a saffron scarf, protesting at Sahyadri College in Shivamogga, which is in the thick of the hijab controversy, were shared on his social media pages after his murder.
On the night of February 20, there were reports of raging violence after Harsha’s death. Nevertheless, police had managed the situation and brought it under control.
However, trouble began around 11.30am on February 21, when the funeral procession began from McGann Hospital, after the post-mortem, to the Rotary cemetery in Vidyanagar.
Despite strict prohibitory orders served by the legal authorities, an estimated 1,000-strong mourners unleashed violence when the procession was passing through Seegahatti, where Harsha lived. They ransacked shops, hotels and damaged private vehicles parked on Azad Nagar and New Thirthahalli Road.
Besides, fruits and vegetable stalls were vandalised in some of the areas and tyres were set on fire even though heavy police force was deployed to prevent a flare-up. Even mediapersons and their vehicles were not spared.
Educational institutions, government offices, shops, commercial establishments, malls, petrol bunks and markets remained closed throughout the day. The state government deployed about 1,200 policemen from different districts to Shivamogga.