2020 Bengaluru violence an act of terror, says Karnataka HC

The violent mob had tried to torch the police station and burnt down a sitting Congress MLA's house.

Bengaluru: The Karnataka High Court in an important observation has stated that the large-scale violence that broke out in DJ Halli and KG Halli localities of Bengaluru following a social media post was an ‘act of terrorism’.

The High Court has rejected the bail petitions of accused Atiq Ahmad and others on Wednesday in connection with the incident.

Following a social media post on Prophet Mohammad, the city witnessed large-scale violence in August 2020 in DJ Halli and KG Halli police station limits. Three people were killed and scores were injured in the violence.

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The violent mob had tried to torch the police station and burnt down a sitting Congress MLA’s house.

The bench headed by Justice K. Somashekar and Justice Shivshankar Amarannavar observed that the violent mob gathering before the police station, attacking the police with iron rods, bottles filled with petrol and fomenting violence could be categorised as the acts done to create terror in the public.

The bench also stated that the accused gathered at the spot to create an act of terror as was mentioned by the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) charge sheet.

“This case attracts the Section 45 D (5) of UAPA Act. The charges made in the charge sheet prima facie seem to be true,” the court said.

Mohammad Tahir, the counsel for the accused argued that the statements of the witnesses recorded before the City Crime Branch (CCB) and later with the NIA are different. “NIA has twisted the statements of witnesses as it wanted. The accused did not take part in the violence,” he added.

Public Prosecutor P. Prasanna Kumar stated that the accused should not be given bail as their prima facie involvement has been proved.

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