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NIA to take over the investigation of Bengaluru riots, to probe possible terror links of the accused

Bengaluru was in the throes of violent riots on August 11, when a rampaging Muslim mob took to the streets of the city, brazenly indulging in arson, vandalism and brutal violence over an allegedly derogatory social media post on Prophet Muhammad

The Central government has decided to transfer the criminal cases related to the violent riots in Bengaluru to the National Investigation Agency. About 280 people in the case have been booked under the stringent UAPA (Unlawful Activities Prevention Act). The central agency will investigate if the accused persons had links with terror organisations.

Representing NIA, counsel P. Prasanna Kumar submitted before a Division Bench of Karnatana High Court comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Ashok S. Kinagi that a decision to transfer the cases involving incidents of violence in DJ Halli and KG Halli localities of Bengaluru has been taken by the centre and orders in this regard are expected to be issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs. The submission was made during the hearing of PIL petitions seeking transfer of probe to NIA, payment of compensation for damage caused to properties during the violence, etc.

A man named Samiuddin was arrested by the Central Crime Branch, who is said to have links with Al-Hind organisation, a claim which is being probed.

Riots sparked off in Bengaluru over an allegedly derogatory post on Prophet Muhammad

Last month, the southern metropolis of Bengaluru was convulsed with violent riots when a rampaging Muslim mob unleashed extreme violence in Bengaluru over a Facebook post that was allegedly derogatory to Prophet Mohammad. As per the reports, the Muslim mob hit the streets near DJ Halli and KG Halli police station areas on August 11 evening and attacked a Congress MLA’s house after one of his relatives had allegedly made a derogatory Facebook post.

More than 60 police personnel were injured in the stone-pelting and the subsequent riots unleashed by the irate Muslim mobs. At least 10 vehicles, including Innovas of two DCPs, were damaged in front of the stations. The mob also set fire to the vehicles in front of the DJ Halli police station.

During the pre-planned attack, the Muslim mob, carrying petrol bombs and other weapons, also barged into the nearby police quarters and attacked the premises. The Muslim mob was seen raising Islamic slogans like ‘Allah-hu-Akbar’ and ‘Nara-e-Taqbeer’ outside the police station.

As many as 300 people, including Arun Pratap, the personal assistant of the former city mayor and local civic ward corporator Sampat Raj of the Congress, were accused of fanning the riots and indulging in vandalism.

Days after the violent riots swept the city, the Karnataka government had decided to invoke the stringent UAPA (Unlawful Activities Prevention Act) law and the Goonda Act against those responsible for carrying out the violence. About 280 accused in the case were slapped with charges under UAPA Act.

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