DK Shivakumar’s Arrest Takes Casteist Hue As Various Vokkaliga Groups Plan Massive ProtestIndian Youth Congress workers protest against the arrest of D K Shivakumar (representative image) (Source: @srinivasiyc/Twitter)

Over 10,000 members of various Vokkaliga sanghas are set to hit the streets as part of the protest against the arrest of senior Congress leader D K Shivakumar in a money laundering case.

The Congress strongman, who has positioned himself as an influential Vokkaliga leader, was arrested last weekend. Enforcement Directorate (ED) has booked Shivakumar under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in a case that dates back to 2017 when Income Tax officials found unaccounted wealth after raiding his properties.

At least 10 different organisations of the Vokkaliga community will participate in this mammoth protest. They plan to march from the National College grounds in Basavanagudi to Freedom Park.

Vishwa Vokkaliga Maha Vedike, Vokkaliga Kempegowda Yuva Vedike, Nadaprabhu Vokkaliga Kendra and  Kannada Rakshana Vedike are among the organisations that will participate in the protest.

Shivakumar's supporters from the Vokkaliga community, including temple priests from neighbouring districts of Ramanagara, Channapatna, Chikkabalapura, are expected to participate in rally.

After Shivakumar's arrest on 3 September, violent protests had erupted across the state leading to rioting and burning of buses in some places. Schools were shut down in his home-district of Ramanagara.

The city police have made elaborate security arrangements, bracing for the massive show of strength by Vokkaliga groups.

The police have deployed 90 platoons of the Karnataka State Reserve Police (KSRP) and City Armed Reserve (CAR) along with 10,000 police personnel to monitor law and order situation in the city.

The state Police  said that in case of any incident of vandalism or other unwarranted happenings during the procession, criminal cases would be registered by holding the organisers responsible.

City police commissioner, Bhaskar Rao, addressing a press conference, said that traffic has been diverted by making certain changes for the convenience of the procession. Noting that the organisers would be utilising services of a thousand volunteers to regulate the procession, he asked those participating in the procession not to create problems for office goers and those conducting businesses.

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