Did Ulsoor gate police fail to uphold Bengaluru’s peace and electoral process?

Protests erupted in Bengaluru’s Nagarathpete after a shopkeeper was attacked for playing devotional music during Azaan. BJP MP Tejasvi Surya blamed the Congress government, warning of shutdowns if assailants weren’t caught. Police detained three individuals, highlighting the need for enhanced sensitivity and responsiveness to communal tensions, especially during elections.

Large-scale protests broke out in Bengaluru’s Nagarathpete on Tuesday following an incident where a shopkeeper, Mukesh, was violently attacked by several individuals for playing devotional music during the evening Azaan on Sunday in the vicinity of Siddanna Layout. Mukesh, speaking to the media, expressed his concern over the potential consequences of the assault, highlighting the support he received from the community as a positive outcome.

 

Tejasvi Surya, a BJP Member of Parliament, visited Mukesh on Monday, attributing the incident to what he perceives as the Congress government’s politics of appeasement in Karnataka. He warned that if the remaining assailants were not apprehended by the following day, the BJP would initiate a shutdown in Nagarathpete and organize protests outside Mukesh’s shop. Surya, actively participating in the demonstrations, encouraged BJP supporters to wear saffron shawls and recite the Hanuman Chalisa as a form of protest.

 

Advertisement

By Monday evening, authorities had detained three individuals linked to the attack, as detailed in the FIR. The confrontation, captured on CCTV and widely circulated online, showcased a dispute over the loud music during Azaan, culminating in a violent altercation. Police reports suggest the altercation was sparked by Mukesh playing music at a high volume during Azaan, aggravating a group from the minority community, and leading to the physical confrontation.

 

This series of events underscores a significant oversight on the part of Ulsoor Gate police station in recognizing the sensitivity of the area, especially as the election code was been implemented.
The police and the SHO were unprepared for such an incident, highlighting a gap in their awareness and responsiveness to potential communal tensions.

 

Senior police officials and election authorities must urgently address this negligence by taking immediate and decisive actions to ensure the safety and harmony of the community, demonstrating a commitment to upholding peace and preventing similar incidents in the future.
Furthermore, the Election Commission must take a proactive role in ensuring that elections in this area are conducted fairly and transparently. The safeguarding of the electoral process is essential to maintain public trust and ensure the democratic rights of all citizens are respected, particularly in regions experiencing social unrest.

 

 

Girish Linganna
Defence & Aerospace Analyst

(The author Girish Linganna of this article is a Defence, Aerospace & Political Analyst based in Bengaluru. He is also the Director of ADD Engineering Components, India, Pvt. Ltd, a subsidiary of ADD Engineering GmbH, Germany. You can reach out to him at: [email protected]

 

Views expressed in the article are the author’s own and do not reflect the editorial stance of Business Upturn.