The political drama preceding the election of Jagadish Shettar as the BJP legislature party leader in the state kept police officers busy throughout Tuesday.
In addition to 20 platoons of Karnataka State Reserve Police (KSRP) and City Armed Reserve Police (CARP), an army of 600 police officers, including 18 DCPs, more than 20 ACPs, around 50 inspectors and close to 75 sub-inspectors, were deployed to provide security to ministers and political bigwigs.
“No untoward incident was reported in places where meetings were held as a huge number of policemen was deployed for providing security and maintaining law and order,” said additional commissioner of police (law and order) T Suneel Kumar.
From each police station, at least three policemen, including a police inspector and a sub-inspector, were deployed for special duty as a series of meetings was held at different parts of the city before the election of BJP’s new legislature party leader.
Platoons were deployed at meeting venues, including Hotel Capitol, Hotel Ashok, Town Hall, Raj Bhavan, the chief minister’s official residence on Kumara Krupa road, chief minister’s office near Vidhana Soudha and the Vokkaligara Sangha office on KR Road.
Policemen had a tough time, as hundreds of BJP workers thronged these places. There was commotion each time a minister or a senior party leader left or returned to each of these venues.
At one stage, close to 500 Vokkaligara Sangha members started a procession from the sangha’s office on KR Road to Town Hall, shouting slogans against BS Yeddyurappa and Lingayats and demanding the state party president’s post for DV Sadananda Gowda and the deputy chief minister’s post for KS Eshwarappa. When they reached Minerva Circle, the police stopped them, leading to a heated argument between sangha members and the policemen.
“Senior police officials, including DCPs and ACPs, were deployed to ensure security for ministers and political leaders. Fortunately, there were no untoward incidents and everything went on well,” said a police officer, on condition of anonymity. “However, many complaints were unattended at police stations across the city as most station inspectors were deployed for providing security,” he added.
“We have to ensure security where politicians gather. The entire day is wasted in providing security to them and maintain law and order in surrounding areas,” said a police officer on special duty.
Except roads near the Raj Bhavan and Race Course, which were jammed, most city roads were free of traffic blocks. “I thank followers of Yeddyurappa, Sadananda Gowda, Shettar, K Eshwarappa and other BJP leaders in Bangalore and other parts of the state for not flocking the city on Tuesday,” said Shiva Murthy, a city-based businessman.