22-Year-Old Woman Suspected Of Burning Buses In Bengaluru For Rs 100 And A Plate Of Biryani

C. Bhagya is a daily wage earner.

19/09/2016 9:10 AM IST | Updated 19/09/2016 9:13 AM IST
Xinhua News Agency/Getty Images
Vehicles are burnt by protesters at a bus depot in Bengaluru, September 2016. (Xinhua/Stringer via Getty Images)

A 22-year-old woman was arrested on the suspicion of setting fire to buses, run by a Tamil Nadu-based operator, during the protests over Cauvery water-sharing in Bengaluru. She was allegedly promised Rs 100 and a plate of mutton biryani for instigating arson, The Times of India reported.

C. Bhagya, alias Bhaghyasri, a native of Yadagir district, is one of 11 people, and the only woman, arrested on Friday for the 12 September attacks on a fleet of KPN buses. According to The New Indian Express, 12 more were detained on Saturday, including two minors. Over 400 people in all have been arrested by the police in various incidents related to the Cauvery protests.

Bhagya, who is a day labourer, had returned home after work, when a few men known to her came over and asked her to join the protests. Her mother, Yellamma, allegedly told the media about the Rs 100 and biryani deal promised to her. The New Indian Express, however, said her family claimed she was one of the onlookers, not an active participant.

A group of people had barged into a bus depot behind PES college at D'Souza Nagar near Nayandahalli, doused the crew with fuel and threatened to set them on fire, after the protests broke out. As footage from CCTV cameras and mobile phone videos recorded by the workers show, Bhagya was carrying a can of fuel, which she handed over to some men, who used it to set fire to the buses.

Over 40 buses belonging to KPN Travels was burnt in the mishap, as several employees of the company were injured and rushed to the hospital.

Bhagya, who was taken into custody by the Rajrajeswarinagar police, apparently showed the police a cobra tattoo on her hand and said no harm would come to her. The police are yet to ascertained if she carried the fuel can voluntarily or was forced to do so.

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