Bengaluru: The authorities have lodged a separate case against ten accused arrested in Bajrang Dal activist Harsha murder case for using mobile phones in a highly secured central prison here, police said on Wednesday.
The photos and videos of the accused lodged in the Central Prison of Parappana Agrahara, Bengaluru, talking to their family members, friends and relatives on a video call, have gone viral on social media. The prison authorities and the state government came under flak for giving preferential treatment to the accused.
Harsha’s mother even said that it is better to set the accused free instead of keeping them in prison if this is how someone is punished. She has also said that the system has betrayed them.
Considering the sensitivity of the issue, Alok Mohan, ADGP of Prisons has shunted out Chief Superintendent of Central Prison, Ranganath and 6 officers. The investigations have proved that the accused were using mobile phones in the prison. A separate case has been lodged against them which will attract additional imprisonment of up to 5 years for the offence, said prison authorities.
The raids have been conducted under the Chief Superintendent of Central Prison P.S. Ramesh. The officers conducted checks on 900 under-trials and more than 300 prisoners lodged in the jail. The police recovered Rs 80,000 cash, memory cards, SIM cards, pen drives and knives from the prison, sources said.
Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said that the government has taken the case seriously and action will be initiated immediately.
Harsha was hacked to death by a gang of miscreants on February 20 amid the height of the hijab crisis triggering concerns about the law and order situation.
Harsha who was popularly known as Harsha Hindu, was in the forefront of Hindutva activities and questioned illegal transportation of cows. He shared fierce Hindutva messages on his social media accounts and also commented on the hijab issue.
The murder led to widespread violence in the state. The BJP claimed that some organisations are trying to give a message through the murder. The opposition Congress said that as elections are nearing, the BJP wants to take political advantage of the incident. The case is now being probed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
The police have arrested 10 persons in connection with the Harsha murder case so far. They have also invoked sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) against them.