Bengaluru riots: Karnataka to approach HC to recover damages from rioters

The Karnataka government on Monday decided to approach the state high court for appointing a commissioner for the purpose of assessment of damages caused to private and public property as well as to recover the same from the culprits. In the riots following a social media post by a relative of a Congress MLA, three people were killed and more than a hundred injured in the DJ Halli and KG Halli police station limits on August 11 and 12.

At a meeting conducted by CM BS Yediyurappa in which home minister Basvaraj Bommai, DGP Praveen Sood, ADGP (Law and Order) Amar Kumar Pandey and Chief Secretary T M Vijaya Bhasker, as well as other senior officials, were present it was decided to take stringent action against the culprits of DJ Halli and KG Halli violence by invoking the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).

Briefing the media after the meeting, home minister Bommai also said that a team of three special public prosecutors would be appointed for the case. “The Special Investigation Team (SIT) that has already been formed will also invoke the Goonda Act in cases wherever the provisions so attract,” he added. Bommai also said the police were investigating whether the rioters had any association with any extremist or terrorist organizations.

The police have detained till date nearly 370 people for the Bengaluru riots. Apart from examining CCTV footage from several places, the police are also examining call records. Till now, DJ Halli police have registered 49 FIRs against the numerous accused while KG Halli police have registered 19 FIRs.

In an interesting twist, Firdous Pasha who was the first to register a complaint against Naveen, the nephew of Congress MLA Akhanda Srinivasa Murthy for an alleged blasphemous post, has registered a case against the rioters saying that his Honda Activa scooter was burnt by them. Pasha in a complaint to DJ Halli police station has claimed that he had come on his scooter to lodge a complaint and had parked it outside the police station. The scooter was one of the 66 privately owned vehicles that were burnt during the riots.

The police on Monday also arrested K Wajid Pasha, president of the Tipu Sultan Alfath trust. Sources in Bengaluru police who did not want to be named said Wajid, who claims to be a JDS worker was also one of the masterminds of the riots. Police sources also told HT, that Naveen who has been accused of posting the derogatory social media post during interrogation has said that he was only responding to a post insulting Hindu gods.

“We are continuing to investigate the matter and there might be more arrests as we unearth new evidence,” the senior police officer added.

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