BENGALURU: Karnataka Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Thursday said the role of the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) in the violence that erupted in parts of Bengaluru on Tuesday night has come to fore and investigation is on to gather more evidence in this regard.

Talking to reporters, Bommai said, “four people associated with SDPI have been arrested in this regard and investigation is underway.’’

“KG Halli and DJ Halli are peaceful since yesterday and there have been no untoward incidents….As the investigation is progressing new information is coming out. I cannot share with you everything, but in the days to come I will share before the media,” Bommai said.

The Karnataka Home Minister further said, as per the information gathered so far and after examining the video footage, the role of SDPI has come to light. “We are collecting more information regarding this, we are investigating deeply in this regard,” he said.

“Already, several SDPI office-bearers have been arrested. Muzammil Pasha, the SDPI district secretary is the main (accused), also Firoz, Afraz Pasha and Shaik Adil, all of them are from SDPI. Their role is being investigated and they have been arrested,” he added.

Bommai said, through some video footage it has come to light that SDPI workers had come from neighbouring areas of K G Halli and D J Halli, and it is being investigated.

Three people were killed after police opened fire to quell a mob that went on a rampage in a city locality on Tuesday night over an inflammatory social media post allegedly put out by a Congress legislator’s relative.

Pulakeshi Nagar MLA Akhanda Srinivasa Murthy’s residence and a police station at D J Halli were among those targeted by the angry mob.

The house of the MLA, who was not at home at the time, was allegedly set on fire. The rioters also torched many police and private vehicles, badly damaged the house and looted the belongings of MLA Murthy and those of his sister.

An ATM was smashed into pieces. After the arson and violence, the entire DJ Halli resembled a war zone.

Nearly 140 people have been arrested so far, in connection with the incident.

Assuring people of security, the Home Minister said, police have worked putting their life at risk, with COVID on one side and such incidents on the other.

“I appeal to people not to fear and cooperate in maintaining peace and order,” he added.

The SDPI on Wednesday had denied its role in the violence and had blamed police inaction.

The Karnataka government on Wednesday announced that a district magistrate would conduct an inquiry into the violence.

The Bengaluru Police has registered at least five FIRs in connection with the incident – two in Devara Jeevanahalli (DJ Halli) and three in Kadugondanahalli (KG Halli) stations.

Besides Pasha, police have named Afnan, Syed Masood, Ayaz and Allabaksh in the first FIR at DJ Halli. The second FIR has three names and ‘other 200 persons.’

The rioters have been charged with barging into the two police stations with an intention to kill the policeman there and the Pulakeshinagar MLA Akhanda Srinivasa Murthy’s nephew whose alleged inflammatory post in social media enraged a section of the society.

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