In Bengaluru, Thousands of Vokkaligas Protest Shivakumar’s Arrest 

Congress leader DK Shivakumar, who belongs to the Vokkaliga community, was arrested in Delhi on 2 September.

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Members of Vokkaliga community along with Congress, Janata Dal(S) and Karnataka Rakshana Vedike staged a protest in Bengaluru on Wednesday, 11 September, to show solidarity with Congress leader DK Shivakumar, who was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in an alleged money laundering case earlier this month.

According to the police estimate, around 35,000 protesters were present and elaborate arrangements were made for the protest. The traffic was diverted all along the procession route.

The Congress leader, who belongs to the Vokkaliga community, was arrested in Delhi on 2 September and was sent to ED custody till 13 September.

A delegation went to meet the governor at Raj Bhavan after the protest started from National College Grounds and reached Freedom Park.

The protesting community is angry that the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is “trying to bring down the Vokkaliga leadership in the state”.

Congress and JD(S) outfits on Tuesday gave a call for a “Raj Bhavan Chalo” march on Wednesday.

A delegation of leaders of these outfits will address the gathering on Wednesday after which they will march towards the Raj Bhavan.

Congress cadre and members of various Vokkaliga organisations from 12 south Karnataka districts, mostly from Ramanagara, Kanakapura and Bengaluru Rural, are participating in the protest.

In order to facilitate flow of traffic, diversions have been put in place. Commuters plying from KG Road via Palace Road must turn right at Elite Junction and go through Tank Bund Road.

Those going to Chalukya Circle must must turn left near Maharani College Bridge and go through KR Circle.

Let the Protest Be Peaceful: Shivakumar

Shivakumar had, on Tuesday, appealed to his supporters to maintain peace.

ED had registered a money laundering case against Shivakumar in September 2018. The case was filed on the basis of an Income Tax Department charge sheet against him and others in a Bengaluru court for alleged tax evasion and hawala dealings.

Shivakumar however, alleges that he is a target of vendetta politics.

Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Minister Dr CN Ashwath Narayan, who also belongs to the Vokkaliga community, urged the activists to conduct a peaceful agitation and not to take the law into their hands.

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