BENGALURU: Protests broke out in several parts of Karnataka on Wednesday following the arrest of senior Congress leader D K Shivakumar by the ED in New Delhi in connection with a money laundering case. Ramanagar district, including Kanakapura assembly constituency which is represented by Shivakumar, is on the boil.
Demonstrations and attempts to block roads by burning tyres were reported from Ramanagara, Chennapattana and few neighboring towns, where a bandh has been called by Shivakumar's supporters.
The DC has declared a holiday for schools and colleges as a precautionary measure.
As many as 16 KSRTC buses have been damaged while one bus has been burnt completely. Most of these buses are mofussil services that were targeted by miscreants on Kanakapura routes. KSRTC buses to Kanakapura was stopped for some time.
Police are diverting vehicles near Bidadi, appealing them to avoid the Mysuru Bengaluru highway. Motorists are taking a longer route .
Meanwhile many Congress leaders have slammed the BJP government for making the arrest a political issue. They are staging protests statewide against the ruling government.
Former chief ministers Siddaramaiah and H D Kumaraswamy have accused the BJP of using central agencies to "oppress voices of dissent".
On his part, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa has said law will take its own course and that he would be more happy than everyone if the former minister comes clear of the charge.
Protests at Konankunte Cross, Richmond circle
Hundreds of people gathered at Konankunte Cross near JP Nagar and in Richmond circle staging a protest against the Central government (BJP) over the arrest of former minister DK Shivakumar by Enforcement Directorate officials last night. The protestors hit the roads on Wednesday morning by blocking the roads which caused inconvenience to motorists going to work in Bengaluru.
The protest at Richmond circle took place under the leadership of MLA of Shanthi Nagar constituency NA Harris. The Congress party workers blamed the BJP of a conspiracy against DK Shivakumar using ED and IT officials. They claimed it is a clear political rivalry against Congress leaders. However no damage was caused at Richmond circle.
In Konankunte, hundreds of Congress party workers including women, blocked the road and protested. They said DK Shivakumar was the next chief minister candidate from the Congress party so the BJP wanted to put a break to his career. The police have managed to control the mob at both the places and detained some of the party workers of the Congress under preventive arrest.
(With PTI inputs)