Bengaluru riots case: Key conspirator arrested

Bengaluru: After over 10 months, the National Investigation Agency arrested the key conspirator for his alleged role in the Bengaluru riots case.

According to an NIA statement, the accused is named Syed Abbas, (38), resident of Govindpura in Bengaluru. Abbas is Nagawara block president of the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI).

The NIA stated that its investigations had revealed that the accused Abbas was absconding till date since the riots broke out in Kadagondana Halli police limits in August 2020. “He along with other conspirators were actively involved in setting vehicles on fire besides ransacking as well as setting KG Halli police station on fire apart from attacking police officers on duty,” said the statement.

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The NIA added that these conspirators had hurled petrol bombs on police stations as well as policemen on duty and after this case was handed over to the NIA as many as 138 persons were arrested in this connection.

In August 2020, Pulikeshi Nagar Congress MLA Akhanda Srinvasa Murthy’s nephew Naveen Kumar (who is out on bail now) posted an insidious post on his Facebook timeline.

Furious over the post, a section of residents approached KG Halli police and DJ Police to initiate action against Naveen. With the police reportedly dilly dallying over initiating action on Naveen, the mob went berserk and indulged in arson and looting.

In a bid to control the raging mob, the police had to open fire, killing four persons on August 11, 2020. Prior to police opening fire, the mob had not only set the MLA’s house on fire besides torching several vehicles parked in KG Halli and DJ Halli police stations but also allegedly hurled petrol bombs on KG Halli police station.

Following these riots, in November 2020, the NIA had conducted widespread searches on 43 locations including four offices of SDPI and PFI.

The NIA had claimed that it had recovered incriminating evidence as well as lethal weapons like swords, knives and iron rods.

Apart from NIA, the Bengaluru Central Crime Branch (CCB), is also investigating the case, that has submitted a preliminary charge sheet naming 60 people, including former mayor Sampath Raj and corporator Rakib Zakir in the DJ Halli riots case.

The violent clashes between the police and the mob started around the residence of the legislator and soon spread to the police stations.

The incident resulted in the imposition of a curfew in the affected areas. At least four people were killed after police opened fire on the rampaging mob while about 80 policemen were injured by armed assailants. Besides this Congress legislator Murthy’s house and vehicles were torched during the violence.

Already several politicians are implicated in this case. After being on the run, former mayor Sampath Raj and corporator Rakeeb Zakir were also taken into custody on November 17 and December 3, respectively. Raj had been on the run for six weeks after escaping a hospital where he was undergoing treatment for Covid-19.

Bengaluru city police that is probing DJ Halli riots case believed Raj inflamed the riots in order to weaken Murthy, whom he saw as his political rival, and filed charges against him relating to arson at Murthy’s residence.

The NIA and Bengaluru Police are continuing their investigations.

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