Ex-Congress mayor Sampath Raj, accused in Bengaluru violence, arrested

Sampath Raj is the Congress corporator from DJ Halli ward. He had escaped from a private hospital.

Sampath Raj
In the charge sheet, Raj has been charged with hatching a conspiracy | File Photo: Wikipedia

Wanted in the Bengaluru violence case, absconding former Congress mayor R Sampath Raj has been arrested and brought to the Central Crime Branch office. CCB Joint Commissioner Sandeep Patil confirmed his arrest on Monday.

Sampath Raj is the Congress corporator from the DJ Halli municipal ward. He was arrested in Bengaluru. He had escaped from a private hospital where he got admitted for COVID-19.

One of his aides, Riyazuddin, who had helped him and another Congress councillor Abdul Rakeeb Zakir to escape and offered them shelter in Mysuru, was recently arrested.

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In the August 11 violence, which left at least four people dead, a mob went on a rampage in DG Halli and KG Halli areas of the city and set ablaze houses of Congress MLA Akhanda Srinivasa Murthy and his sister over an alleged inflammatory Facebook post by his nephew.

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The mob had also torched the DJ Halli and KG Halli police stations over suspicion that the nephew was present there. Three people were killed in police firing while another person died due to abdominal injuries suffered in the violence.

In the charge sheet, Raj has been charged with hatching a conspiracy with the violence to finish off the MLA politically in connivance with Zakir and a few others. Raj and Zakir were still at large and a hunt was on to nab them, police had said.

“He was accused and absconding. Had he been innocent, he wouldn’t have absconded. We have caught him. There’ll be further probe. His arrest is major development that’ll lead to exposure of the conspiracy and people behind it,” said state minister Basavaraj Bommai.

(With inputs from agencies)

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