Clashes were reported today at a massive Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) bike rally – Mangaluru chalo – in protest against the killings of Hindu activists in the coastal districts. Police have detained BJP leaders, according to CNN News18. In a massive show of strength, thousands of BJP workers today went ahead with the rally which was denied permission by the local police. Around 1000 police personnel and 1 RAF company, with 120 members were today deployed at Bengaluru’s Freedom Park to ensure that the BJP does not succeed in carrying out the rally.
Yesterday, The BJP leaders alleged that the government was creating a situation of an “undeclared bandh”, with an intention to stop the rally and asked the government not to stop the rally, being held democratically.”We have no objections to do a rally…we have asked police to ensure that there is no disturbance to law and order and public,” Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said as per PTI.
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A delegation led by Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Jagadish Shettar, Council Opposition Leader K S Eshwarappa, Former Deputy Chief Minister R Ashoka and others also met newly appointed Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy.
According to the latest reports, R Ashoka and other BJP leaders have blocked traffic near Freedom Park. Another BJP leader S Prakash has been detained by police while Shobha Karandlaje was arrested today as per CNN News 18.
Pointing out that while in government, BJP had ensured protection to padyatra against the government organised by the government, Jagadish Shettar said, “we have asked the Home Minister to ensure the same.” Assuring of cooperation in ensuring peace from BJP’s side, Shettar yesterday said “in case you are unable to provide protection, or police indulges in high handedness to stop the rally by arresting our workers it will bring a bad name for the government, and it will be responsible for the consequences.”, he added. “We all leaders will also be participating in the rally, and no one can stop it, so we have requested government to cooperate,” he said.
The bike rally has been organised by Yuva Morcha against the alleged murder of 18 Hindu activists and repeated incidents of violence against them, as per PTI.