R Ashoka, Karnataka's Revenue Minister, made a controversial remark about the Hubballi incident accused when he stated, "Even if they (the Hubballi incident accused) are arrested, they will come out in three to four days. Such people must be taught proper lessons and must be made homeless. We will curb such mindsets and teach them by adopting the Uttar Pradesh model."
The Hubballi Police in Karnataka had on Thursday, 21 April, taken Wasim Pathan, the alleged mastermind behind the stone-pelting incident in the city, into custody. The police also took seven others into custody later in the evening in connection with the incident.
Over 130 people have been arrested so far in the case. Meanwhile, Pathan claimed that he was innocent.
A protest over a social media post had escalated into violence in Hubballi, leaving police personnel injured and police property destroyed late on Saturday, 16 April.
A local youth had purportedly posted a provocative message on social media, showing an altered picture of a saffron flag hoisted atop the mosque in Mecca, after which several people from the Muslim community in the city gathered outside the Old City police station, demanding action against the youth. Soon the mob's protests turned violent, and they began to pelt stones at police personnel and the station building.
Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, on Sunday, 17 April, had said such incidents would not be tolerated and those responsible would be punished. The Hubballi Police commissioner said 88 persons, including an All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) corporator's husband, had been arrested in the matter.
Home Minister Araga Jnanendra had called it a pre-planned attack. Former Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, too, slammed the attack saying such acts should not continue.
More About the Incident
The police had to resort to mild lathicharge and fire tear gas shells to control the vandalism. Officials said that prohibitory orders had been imposed in the city following the violence.
Labhu Ram, Police Commissioner, Hubballi-Dharwad, told NDTV that six cases had been registered against those who caused the violence, adding that the situation was under control now.
The official said that the violence happened over an objectionable social media post that targeted members of the Muslim community.
A group of people reportedly filed a police complaint after a man posted the objectionable content. The police subsequently arrested him. But the complainants were not satisfied with the action and hence resorted to violence, he said.