The Bengaluru police detained nearly 350 people and registered at 64 FIRs in connection with the Devara Jeevanahalli (DJ Halli) riots that occurred on August 11. The police have suspected terror links and begun a probe into it.
While Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa said the government would appoint a team of three prosecutors for the speedy trial of the cases, the special investigation team looked to invoke Goonda Act and stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act against some of the accused persons.
On Wednesday (August 19), the investigating team arrested the personal assistant of DJ Halli ward corporator and former Mayor R Sampath Raj in connection with the riots.
The police picked up Arun Kumar based on the phone call records which reportedly indicated that he made over 10 calls to Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) leader Muzammil Pasha, who’s accused of instigating the riots.
JD(S) party leaders immediately distanced themselves from the arrest and said the party had nothing to with the activities of those arrested.
Also, central crime branch (CCB) sleuths earlier this week detained a resident of KG Halli, who, according to the police, was reportedly in touch with the accused in RSS worker’s murder in October 2016. The accused is also suspected to have links with Islamist terrorist outfit Al-Hind, a senior police officer said.
Meanwhile, city police commissioner Kamal Pant extended the prohibitory orders imposed in KG Halli and DJ Halli until the morning of August 21.
In a series of tweets earlier this week, Yediyurappa announced that his government had decided to assess the damages caused to public and private property in the violent incident and recover the costs from the culprits.
As per the CM’s direction, the state government filed a petition in the court and said 33 government vehicles and 109 private vehicles were either completely burnt and destroyed or extensively damaged.
Besides causing damages to police vehicles, police stations in DJ Halli and KJ Halli as well as the residence of MLA Sri. Akhanda Srinivasa Murthy, the assessing officer also noted that eight more buildings near the site were damaged by the acts of vandalism and arson.
In an interview to a news platform, Home Minister Basavraj Bommai reiterated that there was no lapse by the police in filing the FIR and arresting the person who posted a communally insensitive post on Facebook.
The riots broke out over a Facebook post by P Naveen, a budding politician and nephew of Congress MLA Akhand Srinivasa Murthy. The mob went irate and set fire to vehicles outside the Devarajeevanahalli (DJ Halli) police station after the police refused to register a case against the accused and delayed Naveen’s arrest.