NIA takes over probe in two Bengaluru riots cases

Bengaluru: The National Investigation Agency has formally taken over the investigation in two cases about the violence that broke out in the city on August 11 night over an alleged derogatory social media post by the relative of a Congress MLA.

According to the NIA, a team headed by an IG-rank officer is camping in Bengaluru in connection with the probe into the cases, in which the provisions of Unlawful Activities Prevention Act have been invoked by the state police.

“In pursuance of Ministry of Home Affairs order under section 6(4) and 8 of NIA Act 2008, the NIA took over the investigation of two cases of arson and violence wherein the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act had been invoked by state police.

The two cases were registered at DJ Halli police station and Kadugondanahalli here.

The cases were registered under various sections of IPC, Prevention of Damage of Public Property Act, and Karnataka Prevention of Destruction and Loss of Property Act.

More than 300 people, including some SDPI members, have been arrested in connection with the arson and violence in the city on August 11 night, targeting the Pulakeshinagar Congress MLA R Akhanda Srinivasa Murthy and his sister over a purported inflammatory social media post.

Four people died in the violence, including three in the police firing.

The BJP has blamed the SDPI, a political outfit of Popular Front of India, for the riots and demanded a ban on the organization.

The SDPI has however rejected the charges as ‘baseless’.

In a statement on Tuesday, the NIA said, “The mob was protesting the derogatory social media (Facebook) post about Prophet Mohammed made on August 11 at around 4 pm by Naveen, nephew of the MLA allegedly insulting the religious sentiments of Muslims.”

The State Secretary of SDPI, Muzamil Pasha had earlier called a meeting and directed the members of Popular Front of India and the Social Democratic Party of India to instigate the mob and incite violence, the NIA said.

The mob went on a rampage in DJ Halli, KG Halli, and Pulakeshi Nagar and attacked the DJ Halli and KG Halli police stations and vandalized the property of police stations including government and private vehicles parked in the police stations.

The mob also attacked the house of the MLA and Naveen before attacking the police stations, it added.

Bengaluru: Rapid Action Force (RAF) personnel carry out a flag march in the riot-hit area after a mob went on a rampage on Tuesday over a social media post, allegedly posted by a Congress MLA’s relative, in Bengaluru, Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020. (PTI Photo/Shailendra Bhojak)
Bengaluru violence
Bengaluru violence/PTI