B'luru riots: former B'lru Mayor's custody extended by a day



The local court extended former Bengaluru mayor and Congress leader, R. Sampath Raj's custody by one day, on Thursday.

Raj, a Congress dalit leader, was arrested in connection with his alleged role in instigating the mob that, on August 11, went on rampage and torched the house of Congress Dalit MLA, representing Pulikeshinagar, R. Akhanda Srinivasa Murthy.

The CCB had sought 10-days custody of Raj, but the court extended it only by a day.

Speaking to reporters, Joint Commissioner of police (Crime) Sandeep Patil said that the CCB has secured only a day's custody on Raj. "We will appeal for extension of custody tomorrow again," a senior police officer said.

It all began with an insidious Facebook post by one Naveen Kumar a nephew of Congress MLA R. Akhanda Srinivasa Murthy on August 11 led to violent protests by an enraged mob.

The riots unleashed by a violent mob left four people killed in a police firing and as many as 60 police personnel were injured. Two police stations and the house of Congress MLA Murthy were torched down.

The Bengaluru police that is probing this case in parallel to the NIA has arrested Congress leader and former Bengaluru Mayor R. Sampath Raj, who was absconding for several weeks,

He had escaped from a private hospital where he was admitted for the treatment of Covid-19.

Raj had field anticipatory bail application during his treatment which was rejected by court. Police had also arrested one of Raj's associates named Riyazuddin on November 16 and another Congress corporator named Abdul Rakeeb Zakir (who is yet to be traced and arrested) for helping him escape.

Raj's personal assistant (PA), Arun Kumar was the first one to be picked by the CCB within a week of the riots that took place around August 20 based on his telephone records.

On August 11, Arun had allegedly made as many as 10 calls to SDPI leader Muzammil Pasha who was arrested by the Bengaluru police. The police had tracked Arun Kumar's involvement after they had gone through the call records of Muzammil Pasha and others.

The Bengaluru police had registered more than 60 FIRs in this case alone and subsequently followed it up with filing an whopping 850-page preliminary charge sheet in October this year in connection with the riots.

In the charge sheet, the CCB named 52 persons as accused and recorded the statements of over 30 eyewitnesses.

Besides the CCB, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) too is investigating into this riots case parallelly and so far this agency has arrested as many as 293 persons in connections with the riots.

Of this 293, 124 arrests were made in relation to the riots in D.J. Halli Police Station case and the rest 169 arrests were in relation to the riots in K.G. Halli Police Station case.

On Wednesday, the NIA conducted search operation in more than 43 locations including four offices of the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) for their alleged involvement in Bengaluru riots.

The NIA had seized incriminating material relating to the SDPI and PFI besides weapons like sword, knife and iron rods during the raids from all 43 locations. - IANS

Milky Mist Cheese