Udayavni Special

Siddaramaiah visits riot-hit areas of DJ Halli, demands fair probe


Team Udayavani, Sep 2, 2020, 4:26 PM IST

Bengaluru: Demanding fair probe into last month’s violence in the city, Leader of Opposition in Karnataka Assembly Siddaramaiah on Wednesday said the Congress will raise the issue during the upcoming monsoon session of the state legislature. The former chief minister, who was under Covid-19 treatment when the incident happened, on Wednesday, visited D J Halli and adjoining areas where rioters were involved in arson on August 11 night.

“I urge the government that the inquiry has to happen as soon as possible, it should be fair and the guilty should be punished,” Siddaramaiah said. Speaking to reporters here, he said whoever it is and however big they are, if they are guilty they should be punished. Innocent people should not be punished. Further pointing out that he has demanded constitution of a judicial commission to probe into the incident, for the truth to come out, Siddaramaiah said, “even today I demand for a judicial commission headed by a sitting high court judge.” “… we will raise the issue (Bengaluru violence) in the assembly,” he said in response to a question.

Monsoon session of the legislature will be held from September 21 to September 30. The violence was unleashed by hundreds of people over an inflammatory social media post allegedly put out by P Naveen, a relative of Pulakeshinagar Congress MLA R Akhanda Srinivasa Murthy. The MLAs residence and a police station at D J Halli were torched by rioters, who also set on fire many police and private vehicles, besides looting the belongings of the legislator and his sister. More than 300 people have been arrested in connection with the violence and investigation is on. Also retired judge Justice H S Kempanna has been appointed as the “Claim Commissioner” for assessment of damages caused during the violence and to recover the costs from the culprits.

Responding to a query about the alleged involvement of some Congress corporators behind the incident, Siddaramaiah asked unless it is proved or there is evidence how can someone be blamed.

He said, “I don’t want to talk about any party… the inquiry is still in the preliminary stage, we cannot say such things like BJP leaders and Home Minister are doing at this stage.”

Siddaramaiah said he feels that if the police had announced Naveen’s arrest to the mob immediately, mostly this level of violence wouldn’t have happened. Asserting that only guilty should be punished, he said, “according to some there are innocents among those arrested… during the investigation if there is no evidence against them they should be released. Innocents should not be punished, they should not be sent to jail.”

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