Karnataka bandh: Bus torched, roads blocked as Cong workers protest DK Shivakumar’s arrest

Bus torched, roads blocked as Cong workers protest DK Shivakumar’s arrest

Congress workers in Karnataka on Wednesday protested against the arrest of former minister DK Shivakumar by the Enforcement Directorate in New Delhi late on Tuesday in a money laundering case.

Immediately after his arrest, protests broke out in his Kanakapura Assembly constituency with supporters pelting stones at some buses plying on the way to Mysuru.

On Wednesday, supporters of Shivakumar set a bus on fire and blocked parts of the Bengaluru-Mysuru highway, forcing the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation to divert traffic from the arterial road.

The protesters blocked the Ijoor Circle in Ramanagara town on the outskirts of the state capital. Kanakapura constituency falls within the Ramanagara district.

The ED arrested Shivakumar after questioning him for four days in Delhi. He would be produced before a special court on Wednesday.

Minutes after his arrest, Shivakumar tweeted, “I congratulate my BJP friends for finally being successful in their mission of arresting me. The IT [income tax] and ED cases against me are politically motivated and I am a victim of BJP’s politics of vengeance and vendetta.”

The Congress termed Shivakumar’s arrest an attempt by the NDA government at the Centre to divert attention from its “economic mismanagement” and vowed to fight it legally and in the “people’s court”.

“India’s economy is in doldrums… to put a lid on all this, the BJP government is trying to divert the attention from the economic mismanagement by taking punitive and false actions in revengeful manner against the Congress leaders. The illegal arrest of DK Shivakumar is one more such step,” Congress’s spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said.

Shivakumar received support from many quarters, including from chief minister BS Yediyurappa. Speaking to reporters late Tuesday night, he said, “DK Shviakumar’s arrest hasn’t brought us any happiness. I pray to God that he comes out of this.”

“I have never expressed hatred towards anybody and haven’t wished bad for anybody. The law takes its own course, but I will be the happiest person if he comes out of this,” Yeddiurappa said.

Former chief minister and senior Janata Dal (Secular) leader HD Kumaraswamy said the central government was trying to silence opposition leaders.

Senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah alleged that the Centre was trying to divert attention. “Opposition leaders are being targeted each & every day using central govt agencies. It is just an attempt to divert the attention from structural failures of @BJP4India govt & also to prevent the voices of dissent. @DKShivakumar is also a victim of their vindictive politics,” he tweeted.

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