The National Investigation Agency (NIA) conducted raids at several places in connection with Bengaluru riots, including four offices of the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI). SDPI is the political wing of the Muslim extremist organisation Political Front of India (PFI). According to a statement issued by NIA, the raids were conducted on a total of 43 locations in Bengaluru, Karanataka in relation to the horrific riots that had shaken the city of Bengaluru in August this year.
The NIA officials seized incriminating material relating to the SDPI/PFI along with weapons like sword, knife and iron rods during the raids. The agency has informed that 293 persons have been arrested in connections with the riots so far. In this, 124 arrests were made in relation to the riots in HJ Halli Police Station case and the rest 169 arrests were in relation to the riots in KG Halli Police Station case
Absconding Congress leader arrested in Bengaluru riots case
Congress leader and former Bengaluru Mayor R Sampath Raj, who was absconding for several weeks, was arrested by the Karnataka police on November 17 in connection with Bengaluru riots. He had escaped from private hospital where he was admitted for the treatment of Covid-19. Raj had field anticipatory bail application during his treatment which were rejected by court. Police had also arrested one of Raj’s associates named Riyazuddin on November 16 and another Congress corporator named Abdul Rakeeb Zakir for helping him escape.
An 850-page preliminary charge sheet was filed by the Central Crime Branch (CCB) of Karnataka police in October this year in connection with the riots. In the charge sheet, the CCB named 52 persons as accused and recorded the statements of over 30 eyewitnesses. Raj and another Congress party member Zakir Hussain have been named as accused in the charge sheet.
SDPI’s involvement in the riots
A violent Islamist mob had burnt down the city of Bengaluru in violent riots on August 11 this year over an alleged Facebook post of nephew of Congress MLA R Akhanda Srinivasa Murthy about Prophet Mohammad. The riots unleashed by violent Muslim left four people dead and 60 police personnel injured. Two police stations and the house of Srinivas Murthy was torched down. After taking over the investigation of the riots, the NIA had named SDPI leader Muzamil Pasha for “instigating the mob” to unleash violence on the streets of east Bengaluru.
Reportedly, 124 accused in connection with violence at DJ Halli police station and 169 accused in connection with violence at KG Halli police station have been arrested so far.