Bengaluru violence: MLA Srinivas Murthy blames political rivalry for riots

MLA denies naming three corporators during police questioning, requests action against those involved in the August 11 violence 

Published: 21st August 2020 03:45 AM  |   Last Updated: 21st August 2020 03:45 AM   |  A+A-

Life has gradually returned to normal in DJ Halli, even as the charred remains of vehicles litter the roadside, in Bengaluru on Thursday | Meghana Sastry

By Express News Service

BENGALURU: Pulakeshinagar MLA A Srinivas Murthy, whose house was torched by rioters during the DJ Halli riots on August 11, has reportedly blamed two Corporators and husband of another corporator for the riots, and alleged ‘political rivalry’ leading to the incident.

Police sources said the MLA, who gave his statement to the police as part of investigations, named DJ Halli BBMP ward corporator and former Mayor Sampath Raj and Pulakeshinagar BBMP ward corporator Abdul Rakeeb Zakir, and Nagawara Corporator Irshaad Begum’s husband Kaleem Pasha.

However, when contacted by The New Indian Express, Srinivasa Murthy said he had not named anyone, but sought action against all those involved in violence and arson targeting his residence and police stations. “Let the police investigate the case and take action against all those involved,” he said, when asked if he had named any party leaders in his statement to the police.

The Central Crime Branch (CCB) has already arrested Pasha, while Raj and Zakir were questioned. Raj’s personal assistant Arun has also been arrested by the police. A police official, privy to the statement given by Murthy to the police, said the MLA had mentioned that Corporator Raj had nursed a grudge against him for winning the Pulakeshinagar Assembly seat after moving to Congress from JDS. Raj was keen on contesting that seat, instead he was given a ticket to contest the CV Raman Nagar seat, which he lost. 

The MLA is also said to have told the police that other local Congress and JDS leaders too had not been able to stomach his popularity. It is learnt that the police, who have already questioned Raj and Zakir, have seized their phones, and a senior police official said if any evidence pointed to them having conspired in the riots, they would be arrested.  


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