Don't know why cops pulled trigger: Yediyurappa

B S Yediyurappa

Amid outrage against police firing that killed two people in Mangaluru, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Friday said he was unaware of why the police pulled the trigger.

He said he will visit Mangaluru on Saturday to find out “what exactly happened.”

On Thursday, in a shocking turn of events, the police opened fire at protesters in Mangaluru, which killed Jaleel and Nauseen. The Mangaluru police said they fired in “self-defence.”

When asked about claims by Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah that the government might have permitted the police to open fire, Yediyurappa rhetorically told reporters: “Who gave them permission? Siddaramaiah was also a chief minister. He should understand.”

Yediyurappa went on to allege that it was the Congress that had incited violence. “I am visiting Mangaluru along with Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai. I’ll find out what exactly happened and what the circumstances were. Without knowing the details, I don’t want to comment,” he said.  

Throughout the day, a video showing police personnel discussing how none was killed “despite bullets fired”, went viral on social media. 

Later in the evening, Yediyurappa held a meeting with top police officials and asked them to ensure a peaceful situation in the state. “We discussed with officials for two hours and asked them to ensure peace prevails. I will hold talks with officials in Mangaluru as well,” he said.

Also, it was said that many journalists from Kerala had been detained in Mangaluru where they were covering the ground situation. Yediyurappa clarified that there were 7-8 people and not 40 or 50 as was reported in a section of the media. “Initially, the police were unable to ascertain their identities.
Hence, they were detained. However, once it was clear that they were journalists, they were escorted back to Kerala border,” he said.

Earlier in the day, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had written to Yediyurappa, seeking safety and release of the journalists.

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