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Bengaluru riots: Anti-Terrorist Cell issues notice to absconding Congress leader Sampath Raj

The charge-sheet filed by the Central Crime Branch (CCB) in connection with the Bengaluru riots case stated that the Congress leader Sampath Raj had joined hands with radical Islamist organisation such as SDPI to target his own party’s Dalit MLA Akhanda Srinivasa Murthy.

The Anti-Terrorist Cell (ATC) has reportedly issued a notice to Congress leader Sampath Raj, asking him to appear before the Assistant Joint Commissioner BR Venugopal for his involvement in the Bengaluru riots. Raj, a former Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Mayor, has been on the run from the law enforcement authorities.

As per reports, Sampath Raj was involved in instigating a fanatic Muslim mob to burn the house of fellow Congress MLA Akhanda Srinivas Murthy in Kaval Byrasandra on August 11. He was first interrogated in August over his role in facilitating the riots. When he was asked to appear for questioning again, he claimed to have contracted Coronavirus and was admitted to a hospital. The cops served a notice to the hospital authorities to inform them prior to his discharge. However, Sampath Raj disappeared on October 30. Central Crime Branch (CCB) has launched a manhunt to nab him.

The charge-sheet filed by the Central Crime Branch (CCB) in connection with the Bengaluru riots case stated that the Congress leader Sampath Raj had joined hands with radical Islamist organisation such as SDPI to target his own party’s Dalit MLA Akhanda Srinivasa Murthy.

The background of Bengaluru riots

On 11th August 2020, at around 8:30 PM, a riot-like situation took place between the DJ Halli and KJ Halli police station limits in the east Bengaluru. As per the reports, more than 1000 people gathered outside the house of Congress MLA Akhanda Srinivas Murthy, demanding immediate action against his relative Naveen, who allegedly posted objectionable content against Prophet Muhammad on Facebook. The situation came under control on 12th August around 1 AM. Three people were killed, and more than 60 police personnel were injured. More than 300 vehicles were damaged in the riots.

The investigation agencies have arrested more than 340 people for arson, stone-pelting and attacking police. Congress MLA Akhanda Srinivas Murthy, while talking to media, said that his house was set on fire. On 17th August, CM BS Yediyurappa said the state government would recover the cost of damage to public and private property from the culprits.

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