There is a great amount of discussion right now about the racist attacks on several African men and women in Hessargatta in Bengaluru. The Tanzanian student was beaten and then stripped by a group of locals in Bengaluru after they assumed she was part of an incident in which a Sudanese man had run over a local woman.
The incident took place on Hesaraghatta Road in Bengaluru on Saturday night after a Sudanese national ran his car over a 35-year-old woman resulting in on the spot death of the woman.
While much is being made about how Bengaluru, the cosmopolitan hub of Karnataka, suddenly went crazy, this is not really true. The city has always been a hub of simmering issues and every so often, things explode and mobs go wild. Here are five such times.
1994: When Bangalore murdered 25 over a 10-minute Urdu bulletin on DD
On October 2, 1994 the Government of Karnataka introduced a ten minute bulletin in Urdu on Doordarshan. The broadcast played immediately after the Kannada news section at seven thirty pm.
This was enough to drive the city crazy. Sure, there was plenty of background to it. The elections were coming up, and the model poll conduct was already in place. So at the time, this was seen as a poll gimmick by Veerappa Moily's Congress (I) Government to woo Muslim voters. Traditionally the Bangalore Doordarshan broadcast, in those days, was reserved exclusively for Kannada language broadcasts.
What began as a protest against the broadcast, ended as a city-wide anti-Muslim communal riot in which the official death toll was 25, though more were probably killed.
The initial protests began on October 6, with the full support of the Kannada film industry, the Karnataka Sahitya Akademi, the Karnataka Advocates' Association and the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce. But things quickly spiraled out of control once people began to stone and torch vehicles.
Mobs then attacked Muslim-dominated areas of the city and began killing many and injuring hundreds, not to mention destroying property in a free-for-all.
Things came under control one week later. Moily would go on to have a long career at the Centre, and this riot in Bangalore would quickly pass out of memory.
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