On Tuesday, Bengaluru police managed to disperse protesters at a “Mangaluru Chalo” bike rally led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The BJP has planned to mobilize 20,000 of its youth workers for a bike rally to the coastal town to protest “political killings of Hindus” in the region in the last couple of years.
Hundreds of policemen and other security forces stood guard at Bengaluru’s Freedom Park to ensure that the BJP does not succeed in carrying out the controversial rally.
On Monday night, the police heads of Bengaluru, Kolar, Hassan, Hubli, Chikmagalur, Mangaluru, Bellary and Udupi prohibited the BJP from holding these rallies, citing different grounds. The denial of permission was due to fears that the rally could spark violence. Anti-social elements could merge with the crowd and cause law and order disturbances.
The leaders on Tuesday were waiting for BJP state president B.S. Yeddyurappa to flag off the rally, but the latter did not turn up to the event. When the other leaders attempted to start the rally, the police bundled them up in buses and took them away.
Even though they were denied permission, BJP decided to still go ahead with the rally. The BJP and the Karnataka government were all set for a bitter showdown today. There were heavy traffic jams in the city earlier today.
Karnataka BJP president BS Yeddyurappa arrived at the protest site in Jyoti circle at 11 am today. BJP leaders are addressing cadres at the protest site. The BJP president is expected to address party workers soon after which the rally is expected to move forward towards the district commissioner’s office.
The entire city has been turned into a fortress with the government hoping to avoid a repeat of the clashes witnessed on Tuesday in Bengaluru. Over a thousand cops are stationed along with 120 RAF personnel.