Mangaluru: After violence broke out in the city on December 19, 2019, the Mangaluru police posted videos taken of the various incidents during that day. Of the many videos, one showed a tempo being parked on the side of the road, soon after which a few people came, threw some of its contents on the ground threw what looks like stones in a particular direction and left soon thereafter.
While it has been said that the tempo was carrying stones to be used as ammunition by the "violent protesters", the driver of the vehicle, has now reportedly come out to say that that was not the case.
On Friday, January 10, former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy released 35 videos showing scenes from the day in question. Each of the videos show the police in a bad light as they are seen using excessive force to deal with individuals. Some videos show the police forcing shopkeepers to shut shop and even beating them with lathis (sticks). They are even seen attacking students, unprovoked.
An interview of the driver of the tempo was also released in which he said that he had parked the vehicle on the side of the road and returned to Kannur as he did not want to get caught in the commotion that had just begun. According to him, that is what the video of him parking the tempo actually shows. He added that when he returned for his vehicle the next day, he found two gunny bags on the ground.
"There was a lot of commotion near Bunder. For the safety's sake, I parked it on the side of a road and left. I went to get my tempo on Saturday after the curfew was lifted. By then, two gunny bags were thrown on the streets, but the rest of the load was untouched. I returned to Kannur after that."
The police firing in Mangaluru on December 19 has turned into a political battle between opposing sides. While the police and the BJP government have blamed the violence on the protesters, many others claim that it was the police who instigated the fights.
One of the videos released by the former CM shows the police taking aim at protesters and opening fire and in another video, a policeman is reportedly heard asking another to take aim at the people's genitals.
While the authenticity of the videos has been questioned, HDK claims that they are genuine and that he released them in order to expose the lies of the state government, calling it a "cover-up". He said that he wanted the people to know the "truth" about what happened on December 19, when two persons were killed and many others were injured in police firing.
HDK has since, received a lot of flak from the members of the ruling party, both at the Centre and in the state.
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