BANGALORE: The protest over the Festival of Blessings programme escalated on Friday with widespread arson and stone-pelting across the city, which left several persons injured.
Normal life was disrupted as angry mobs forcibly shut down shops and blocked traffic in many areas following the bandh call given by the Hindu Jagran Vedike to protest the show by evangelist Benny Hinn.
BMTC bore the brunt of the mobs ire as over 110 buses were damaged. Many private vehicles were also damaged. Agitators went on a rampage pelting stones and setting fire to buses in places across the city. Police lobbed tear gas shells and lathicharged crowds at several places.
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The trouble began around 6 am when a mob stopped a BMTC bus and set it on fire after forcing commuters to get off. Buses parked in the terminal were set on fire.
The police were caught off guard as most of the force was at the Jakkur airfield, the venue for the programme.