Bangalore Violence : How Did The Muslim Leaders Respond?

While it is important that Muslim leaders act on riot-like situations to maintain peace, they also have to address the long-standing issues faced by the community including poverty and illiteracy.

violence
zameer Ahmed Khan on spot where violence took place

DJ Halli and KG Halli of Bengaluru witnessed violence from the night of August 11th till early morning the next day. House of area MLA Akhanda Srinivasa Murthy and KG Halli Police Station was attacked by the mob. Three people were killed in the police firing. More than 60 policemen were injured.

The Police have detained more than 148 people, including Naveen, who posted a derogatory post on social media. It is unusual that the violence broke out given that the Muslim community has been very peaceful in recent times. No Muslims took to the streets when neither when Ayodhya Verdict was pronounced nor when the foundation stone was laid down at Ayodhya recently. Violence was not reported when the Muslim community was blamed for the coronavirus outbreak. Anti CAA-NRC protests were also led peacefully across the country. The Muslim community had not taken to violence even when a BJP ideologue had open fire at Anti-CAA-NRC protestors in Delhi.

However, important questions about DJ Halli incident have been raised. A pertinent one amongst this is, how did the Muslim leaders handle the incident?  gaurilankeshnews.com tried to find answers to this question and present to you the eyewitnesses’ accounts.

A frantic atmosphere was built over Naveen’s derogatory post which was posted at around 5.30 PM. Locals have contacted organizations they knew and social workers from Muslim community (We have detailed information about who contacted whom in particular). The organizational leaders have asked the locals to lodge a police complaint and have passed the lawyer’s contact for assistance. Leaders warned the people that they must refrain from sharing the post any further. Some people including Mujammil Pasha of the SDPI have gone to DJ Halli police station to file a complaint. While we were informed that Pasha had addressed a group of youth before going into the police station, SDPI has refuted the point. While lodging the complaint, they have demanded the police to immediately arrest the accused. A few hooligans from the area wherein there are many addicted to alcohol and other drugs have instigated the riots by pelting stones.  They have set the police station on fire and ransacked the house of MLA Akhand Srinivasa Murthy who is a relative of the accused.

Read About: Violence in Bengaluru over Controversial Social Media Post

7.30 PM to 8 PM 

The police have proceeded to file an FIR but the crowd demanded immediate arrest of the accused. Inspector Keshava Murthy has informed that he would bring the matter to the attention of higher authorities. By this time, thousands of people had gathered outside the police station and have tried to barge into it.

Realizing that they would be unable to control the situation, the police have requested Muslim clerics and political leaders to come to the spot.

8:15 PM

Cleric Maulana PM Mujammil arrived at the spot and appealed for peace. He has shown up the complaint copy and said that the complaint has been lodged. Even Mujamnil Pasha of SDPI took up the mic and said, “Even though incident incites us to fight without caring for our lives, Prophet has said that it is our duty to follow the law of the land wherever we live.” They have also informed the people that the police have requested them to give two hours for them to arrest the accused.

Moulana P.M MUZAMMIL AUR SDPI TEAM (Bangalore district Secretary MUZAMMIL PASHA, MAQSOOD, AYAZ aur volunteers ki team D.J HALLI me KASHEEDGI ke baad halaat ko control karte huwe. NABI KI SHAAN ME SOCIAL MEDIA PAR AIK SHAKS NE GUSTAQI KI THI…. #DJ

Moulana P.M MUZAMMIL AUR SDPI TEAM (Bangalore district Secretary MUZAMMIL PASHA, MAQSOOD, AYAZ aur volunteers ki team D.J HALLI me KASHEEDGI ke baad halaat ko control karte huwe.NABI KI SHAAN ME SOCIAL MEDIA PAR AIK SHAKS NE GUSTAQI KI THI….#DJHalli #KGHalli #Bengaluru

Posted by SDPI Karnataka on Tuesday, August 11, 2020

In the meanwhile, violence has only risen. Stones were pelted at the police station and bikes around were set on fire. A Karnataka State Reserve Police vehicle was burnt down.

A group of people rushed to MLA Akhanda Srinivasa Murthy’s house while others attacked DJ Halli and KG Halli police stations.

10:20 PM

Swaraj India party leaders Zia Nomani and Kaleem Ullah arrived at the spot. On their way, they called up the police commissioner. When Commissioner informed them that the accused had already been arrested, Zia Nomani appealed to the Police Commissioner to release a video of the accused being arrested to control the riots from further escalations.

11 PM

At around 11 PM, Congress MLA Zameer Ahmad Khan and Rizwan Arshad arrived at the spot. They used the mic of the police jeep and appealed to everyone to immediately stop the riots and the attack on the police station.

Zameer Ahmed Khan
Zameer Ahmed Khan and Moulana MP Muzammil appealing to the crowd to maintain peace

They also time and again asserted that what Naveen had done was reprehensible and that the police will take necessary action against him. They have also assured that they would ensure the arrest of Naveen and requested the crowd to let the issue be resolved in a legal framework. However, the mob there did not retreat and the plea from the leaders went in vain.

At this juncture, the crowd was agitated that the Muslims have voted for Congress for long but the Congress party has not come to our aid of the community.

Later, BZ Zameer Ahmed Khan over twitter has noted that “The incident happening at Kaval Byrasandra was unfortunate. I am confident that the police will take action against the guilty. I am appealing for restraint and peace,”. Another Congress MLA Rizwan Arshad and Zia Nomani of Swaraj India party was at the spot and appealed for peace.

People on the spot have noted that the violence had come under some control after the leaders appealed to the crowd. If not, an even greater degree of violence would have taken place.

The crowd dispersed a bit, but a few others refused to move. The situation was beyond anyone’s hands and the police fired openly. The people on the scene are of two opinions. While some felt that there was no other way than the police starting to fire at this point and that the loss of lives was unfortunate and painful.

Many Think that the practice of using tear gas, rubber bullets and pepper gas before taking to firing has been on the decline and that the state forces need to be more careful when dealing with the lives of people.

Many Think that the practice of using tear gas, rubber bullets and pepper gas before taking to firing has been on the decline and that the state forces need to be more careful when dealing with the lives of people.

Also Read: Bangalore Violence gave fodder to media in the time of “News Desert”

Jamaate Islami Hind, SSF, Karnataka Muslim Muttahida Mahaaz, Karnataka Muslim Jamaat, PFI among other organizations have issued statements immediately condemning the riots and demanded that the guilty be punished and also the instigators.

Since the riots broke out many Muslim organizations in the state have been trying to contact people in other districts and have appealed for peace. They have asserted that neither the Prophet nor Islam religion would want its followers to resort to violence against the law of the land.

Four phone calls to PSI Keshava Murthy of DJ Halli Police Station to know more about what happened on the scene went unanswered. While Muslim leaders have tried their best to control the riot-like situations and to maintain peace on the scene, they also have to address the long-standing issues faced by the community including poverty and illiteracy.

Translated from Kannada to English by Shashank SR

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