Bengaluru violence: Crippled by the riots


The curfew imposed after Tuesday’s riots has left DJ Halli and KG Halli residents with no food, water and essentials for more than three days

Just as Bengaluru’s residents had finished dealing with disruption of food supplies in containment zones, last Tuesday night’s riots in Pulikeshinagar only added to their woes. Again shops were shut after section 144 was imposed in the city and curfew was clamped in Tannery Road, DJ Halli and KG Halli, after widespread arson and violence broke out over a social media post. Not just that, one man who stepped out to buy medicines for his sick daughter was caned.

While some residents found that they hardly had groceries, some had no stored water, others had no medicines and some others had no access to medical care.

When Bangalore Mirror visited these areas on Monday, many residents told us that they had a harrowing time for five days. On Monday, there was some respite because curfew was relaxed between 7 am to 11 am so that residents could buy essentials. Syeda Banu (59), a house wife said,“I came here to stay with my daughter after someone in our family passed away. After Tuesday’s violence, we could not go out and buy anything. We had to make do with dal and rice that was there at home. On Monday when a few shops opened, we rushed out and stocked up on a few rations. We don’t know how long this will go on.”

Earlier the Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai had declared that the curfew would be in force till August 15, but he later extended it to August 18.

Some families like Khaleel Khan’s said they did not have access to drinking water. “We used to go some distance to bring drinking water in cans. Over the last four days, we ran out of water. When my son went out to check if we could go out to get water, he said the police personnel did not allow him to cross the road. With no shops open, we had no option to even buy bottled water.” Some residents went through snaking lanes which connected to a main road many kilometres away, hired an auto and transported water cans to a point near their homes, from where they could walk to pick it up.

In certain parts of Tannery road, only women were allowed to move from one street to another. Bangalore Mirror saw many pregnant women, old and sick people walking to the nearby public health centre. “We had to walk over a kilometre to bring my daughter-in-law to the hospital,” said an old woman.

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Sindhu, one of the residents of DJ Halli said, “My father had some stomach trouble last night. When we came out to get some medicines, we found that all the pharmacies were shut. We couldn’t go looking for other pharmacies because the policemen stationed there would not let us.”

The Bangalore Mirror team also noticed the absence of pharmacies in the area. Some residents said they tried to reach out to volunteers but since the area was sealed, they did not get any help. Some who ran out of cooking gas had to depend on their neighbours for food over the last few days.

On Monday a few private gas agencies had opened their shops.

Man caned by cops

Abhay Mahajan, a resident of 5th block in HBR Layout and a hardware engineer’s eight-month-old daughter was not well. With a prescription in hand, he stepped out to buy medicines assuming that he had a genuine reason to be out on the road. “It was around 7.15 pm, and I was carrying the prescription and the hospital file along with me.

I was on my two-wheeler headed towards the Apollo pharmacy through Nagawara main road. At the first two check posts, I was given permission to go. But at the third check post, I was stopped by the cops and when I told them that I was going to a pharmacy, they started caning me. I was about to open my bag and show them my daughter’s prescription but they did not give me a chance to explain and continued to beat me. I had to turn around and run from them. If the cops had told me politely to go back, I would have left. This happened at least 800 meters away from the bridge and the curfew area on Nagawara main road.”

He said that his phone, which was inside the bag, was damaged due to the caning and the screen was shattered.



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Sagar Biswas

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