Watch: Man With Gun Garlands Siddaramaiah On Campaign Trail, Police Clarify

The man garlanded Congress leaders on the campaign truck with a gun at the hip

New Delhi:

A Congress worker garlanded Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and the Congress’s Lok Sabha candidates today during the party’s roadshow in Bengaluru South. However, what caught everyone’s attention was the holstered gun he tried to hold on to while getting into the open-roof vehicle next to Siddaramaiah campaigning for Sowmya Reddy near Madiwala in the city’s south-east.

A video showed the man garlanding the Congress leaders on the truck with a firearm dangling from his belt. As he climbed down from the vehicle, Siddaramaiah and the others noticed the weapon.

The incident raised eyebrows and several questions on security protocol violations since the Model Code of Conduct is already in place. Once the code is imposed, all firearms are required to be surrendered to the respective police station and any exemptions can only be obtained with an exempt permit. The arms are returned to the rightful owners once the election is over.

The man has been identified as one Riyaz, the police said. He has been carrying a gun since a life-threatening assault a few years ago, and was hence exempted from surrendering his gun, he clarified.

“The incident happened close to Wilson Garden. Regarding the weapon, it is a licensed one that he had in self-defence as he had been attacked before. Based on all this, an inquiry is on,”┬áthe Deputy Commissioner of Police (Bengaluru South), Lokesh, said.

Tweeting about the incident, Vijayendra Yediyurappa – the son of former Chief Minister and BJP leader BS Yediyurappa – said, “While the election code of conduct is in force, a man with a gun garlanded the Chief Minister and Congress candidates during the roadshow of the party is an alarming development. It is a mystery why the police, who take possession of weapons from those who obtain gun licenses for self-defense and keep them with them till the end of the election process, did not seize the gun from this person. Who is this person? His background needs to be investigated. The incident shows the Congress is going to hold elections with such people… Ever since the Congress came to power, the mischief of vandals has been recurring. The Election Commission has to take serious action on this incident today. Along with this, it should keep an eagle eye on the activities of anti-social forces and take all precautionary measures for peaceful polling.