Violent protests in Karnataka after Congress heavyweight DK Shivakumar arrested, sent to ED custody till 13 September


Veteran Congress leader and chief troubleshooter in Karnataka, DK Shivakumar was arrested on Tuesday evening for alleged money laundering. His arrest came after four days of grilling by the Enforcement Directorate, which said that the former Karnataka minister was not cooperating and needed to be grilled in its custody. A special court in Delhi on Wednesday sent Shivakumar to ED custody till 13 September.

DK Shivakumar

Meanwhile, several incidents of violent protests have been reported from Karnataka after his arrest by the ED. Soon after his arrest, a couple of tweets were posted from Shivakumar’s Twitter handle. One tweet read, “I congratulate my BJP friends for finally being successful in their mission of arresting me. The IT and ED cases against me are politically motivated and I am a victim of BJP’s politics of vengeance and vendetta.”

His subsequent tweet read, “I appeal to my party cadre, supporters and well-wishers to not be disheartened as I have done nothing illegal. I have full faith in God & in our country’s Judiciary and am very confident that I will emerge victorious both legally and politically against this vendetta politics.”

Buses were torched and schools and colleges shut as a precautionary measure since the Congress called for a state-wide shutdown. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi wrote on Twitter, “The arrest of DK Shivakumar is another example of the vendetta politics unleashed by the Govt, using agencies like the ED/CBI & a pliant media to selectively target individuals.”

AICC General Secretary KC Venugopal said in a statement, “The arrest of Shri DK Shivakumar is a clear case of political vendetta by the fascist BJP government at the centre. After Shri. Chidambaram, yet another leader facing vengeance for standing up against the horse-trading and petty politics of the BJP. By these actions ED & CBI has proved to be the puppet agents of the Government at the Centre. A wrong trend has been set by the Modi Government to harass and hunt down the political opponents with fabricated allegations.”

Shivakumar has been instrumental in saving his party’s government on more than one occasion. A wealthy businessman, Shivakumar had stopped BS Yediyurappa from becoming the Karnataka chief minister last year after he staked claims to form the government despite not being able to secure a majority in the assembly.