BENGALURU: The Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) is now under the scanner over its suspected involvement in Tuesday night’s riots in Kaval Byrasandra area of Bengaluru. Karnataka Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Thursday said the organisation’s role in the mob violence will be thoroughly investigated. The case has been handed over to the Central Crime Branch (CCB) and three special teams have been formed to nab those still at large.
With seven more arrests on Thursday, the total number touched 200. The police have arrested SDPI’s Bengaluru district secretary Muzammil Pasha, a resident of the area, in connection with the arson and riot which claimed three lives in police firing, and also saw the burning of several vehicles and Pulakeshinagar MLA Akhanda Srinivasa Murthy and his neighbours’ houses.
They have registered seven FIRs in Devarajeevanahalli and Kadugondanahalli police stations -- which were attacked by the mobs on Tuesday night -- naming 22 accused. The police said they have identified nine among them to be SDPI members, but have not disclosed their names. According to eyewitnesses, the mob came prepared to attack the MLA’s house and the DJ Halli police station. Senior police officers visited the spot on Thursday and analysed footage from about 200 CCTV cameras to identify the accused.
The police on Thursday produced some of the prime accused before a magistrate to take them into their custody.. One of the FIRs is against P Naveen, the nephew of MLA Srinivasa Murthy. Naveen, who has since been arrested, allegedly put up a blasphemous post on social media, triggering Tuesday night’s violence in which 19 people, including three media persons and 14 policemen, sustained injuries.
He faces charges under two Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections pertaining to fostering enmity among communities and outraging religious feelings. Meanwhile, former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda said, “How many among them (accused of rioting) are real culprits? All of them cannot be culprits. The innocent should not be punished, this is my request to the police.”
SDPI flag found on statue of saint
An SDPI flag was found on a mantap bearing the statue of saint-philosopher Shankaracharya in Sringeri town on Thursday. It is suspected that the flag was placed on Wednesday night when it was raining. Devotees staged a protest on Thursday and demanded that the culprits be arrested immediately. Reacting to the incident, Kannada and Culture Minister C T Ravi tweeted that he had directed the Superintendent of Police to take action against the culprits. Chikkamagaluru SP Hakay Akshay Machindra also said that an FIR has been registered.