Crescent Kashmir

Bengaluru violence: SIT formed, CM Yediyurappa says cost of damage to be recovered from culprits

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Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa Monday said a special investigation team (SIT) had been constituted to probe the violence in areas of east Bengaluru last week that was triggered by an alleged derogatory social media post by a Congress MLA’s nephew.

Yediyurappa also said the government would approach the High Court for the appointment of ‘Claim Commissioner’ to access the damages caused to private and public property during the violence, which left four people dead.

“The SIT which has already been formed will investigate the matter. A team of three special prosecutors will be appointed for speedy trial of the cases. SIT will consider invoking Goonda Act if warranted,” Yediyurappa tweeted.

The CM also said stringent action had been initiated against those responsible for the violent incidents, including invoking of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).

“Our Govt has decided to assess the damages caused to public & private property in the violent incidents in KG Halli and DG Halli and recover the costs from the culprits. We will approach Hon’ble High Court for appointment of Claim Commissioner as per Hon’ble Supreme Court order,” Yediyurappa tweeted.

 Rapid Action Force (RAF) personnel carry out a flag march in the violence-hit area (PTI)

The decisions were taken after Yediyurappa chaired a meeting with Home minister Basavaraj Bommai and senior state government officials. The meeting was also attended by Chief Secretary T M Vijaya Bhaskar, Advocate General Prabhuling K Navadgi, DGP Praveen Sood, Bengaluru Police Commissioner Kamal Pant, Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Rajneesh Goel, ADGP (Intelligence) B Dayananda, and ADGP (Law & Order) Amar Kumar Pandey.

The August 11 violence saw a rampaging mob attacking a police station and Congress legislator Akhanda Srinivas Murthy’s residence within the limits of Devarajeevanahalli (DJ Halli) and Kadugodanahalli (KG Halli) police stations. Bengaluru City Police (BCP) Commissioner Kamal Pant issued an order extending restrictions imposed in areas under the limits of DJ Halli, KG Halli stations till 6 am on August 21.

Meanwhile, DCP (East) Sharanappa SD told police teams were still collecting technical evidence to identify more people involved in the incident. “As many as six teams of cyber crime and forensic experts are reviewing the evidences collected adding to the technical evidence for the investigation. Mobile phone tower location and CCTV footage are also examined,” he said.

 Relatives of a man killed after the violence speak to a police officer outside a burnt police station, in Bengaluru (Reuters)

“No person is being arrested without having proper evidence,” a senior police official said. As of Monday, more than 300 accused had been arrested in connection to the violence and rioting after at least 52 First Information Reports (FIRs) were filed as on Sunday.

“It is not feasible to give out the total numbers as more arrests are being made even as we speak now,” the official said.

Congress MLA whose house was attacked seeks CBI probe

Meanwhile, Pulkeshinagar MLA Akhanda Srinivas Murthy — whose house in Kaval Byrasandra was torched in the violence — demanded a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) investigation into the incident. Claiming that he never resorted to “politics of hate,” the Congress legislator said, “All I want is a detailed inquiry into the violence done by the mob in which I have incurred losses to the tune of Rs 3 crore.”

Murthy’s nephew P Naveen Kumar, whose Facebook account was identified as the one that posted the ‘derogatory’ comment, SDPI leader Muzammil Pasha — a candidate who unsuccessfully contested BBMP elections from Sagayapuram ward in May 2019 — and Kaleem Pasha — the husband of Nagwara ward BBMP corporator Irshad Begum — are among those arrested linked to the incident. Naveen has been sent to judicial custody for 14 days.

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