A 22-year-old woman C Bhagya, who is suspected to have instigate violence over the Cauvery row, was offered Rs 100 and a plate of mutton biryani for the same.
Police told TOI that the woman instigated the arson attack on 42 buses of a Tamil Nadu-based operator in Bengaluru last week. She is one of the 11 persons arrested for the attack.
She is currently in police custody for further questioning. A senior police officer said it was not yet clear if Bhagya was leading the mob. “As of now, we can say she was one of the arsonists,” the officer added.
Bhagya’s mother Yellamma said that her ‘friends’ asked her to join the protests.
Bhagya, a daily wager, stays with her parents in Girinagar. “Bhagya had just returned home around noon (on September 12) when some men known to her came over and asked her to join the protests.They promised to give her biryani and Rs 100 at the end of the day,” Yellamma said.
She was identified after police went through TV footage from the yard where the buses were parked, as well as mobile phone videos filmed by the crew.
Police suspects Bhagya to be the agent provocateur. Though other women were also present, their role remain unclear. Police say that Bhagya is the only woman among the 400-odd people arrested in connection with the September 12 violence in Bengaluru. On September 12, angry mobs set fire to dozens of buses and lorries with Tamil Nadu registration. Some incidents of attack on Kannadigas and their property in the neighbouring state also came to light.
Fire men dousing a torched truck in Bengaluru on Tuesday, a day after violent protests by pro-Kannada activists over Cauvery water row
The violence erupted after SC asked Karnataka to release a reduced quantum of 15,000 cusecs of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu till September 20. However, under pressure following the protests, the Karnataka government approached the Supreme Court on September 11 seeking modification of the interim order. Hearing the plea, the Supreme Court then amended its order, directing the state to release a reduced quantum of 12,000 cusecs of water daily to Tamil Nadu till September 20.