The National Investigative Agency has arrested seventeen leaders associated with the Popular Front of India (PFI) and its political arm Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) for their involvement in the attack on the house of Congress Dalit MLA Akhanda Srinivas Murthy of Pulakeshinagar and the precincts of the KG Halli police station.
On 21 December, the NIA arrested the activists of the political party for their involvement in the violent attack and large scale rioting at K G Halli police station on 11 August 2020. An unruly ‘mob’ had gathered outside the KG Halli police station after a Facebook post by Murthy’s nephew Naveen that was said to have derogatory content against Prophet Mohammed.
The irate mob then set Murthy’s house on fire and indulged in rioting and arson destroying vehicles and torching police vehicles and pelting stones at policemen.
Despite police action, the mob intensified their attack after which Police was forced to open fire in which two people were said to have been killed. The rioters also injured around 60 police personnel apart from media persons reporting from the location.
Karnataka government while supporting the Congress MLA who was seen as being deserted by his party folk for fearing of upsetting the minority community, also announced that it would recover the cost of public and private properties destroyed from the rioters.
The NIA has reported that investigations so far have revealed that the SDPI leaders namely party’s President of Bengaluru District Mohammed Sharief, K G Halli ward President Imran Ahmed along with other senior leaders like Rubah Waqar, Shabbar Khan and Shaik Ajmal Had conducted meetings not he evening of the riots at K G Halli and Thanisandra. During these meetings they had conspired and mobilised the mob to attack the police personnel, ‘causing huge damage to the public and police station vehicles’, says the NIA report.
According to the central agency’s investigations, the said accused also used social media like Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram to spread terror among people. So far, a total of 187 accused have been arrested.
The SDPI president of Nagwara ward Abbas has been accused of mobilising the crowd thorough his associates Anil Pasha, Irfan Khan and Akbar Khan, while other accused Saddam, Sayed Sahel and Kaleemullah Shahrukh Khan are said to have been active social media users who participated as well as instigated others to gather at the Police Station.
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