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Cong rejects internal rivalry as reason for attack on its MLA’s house

PTI, Oct 15, 2020, 2:57 PM IST

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Bengaluru: The Congress in Karnataka on Thursday rejected police’s attribution of internal party rivalry as the reason for attack on its MLA R Akhanda Srinivas Murthy’s house during the violence in parts of the city in August. Blaming the government for the incident, KPCC President D K Shivakumar said allegations were part of the conspiracy against his party and accused the police of acting as agents of the ruling BJP.

He also rejected Congress MLA Murthy’s (whose house was vandalized) demand for suspension of leaders named in the chargesheet from the party, terming it as “his political agenda.”

“I’m telling you as far as the D J Halli incident is concerned Congress has nothing to do with it, unnecessarily with an intention to smear black mark on our party, our leaders are being named,” Shivakumar said in response to a question.

Speaking to reporters here, he alleged that police were functioning like puppets, and the Congress would take up the case politically. Shivakumar asserted that no Congress leader was involved in any conspiracy. “BJP leaders and officials are doing it to smear a black mark on Congress party, we will fight it out separately both politically and legally,” he added.

The Central Crime Branch (CCB) police, which is probing the attack on Murthy’s residence during the violence, has charged former mayor Sampath Raj and ex-Pulakeshinagar ward corporator Abdul Rakeeb Zakir, with planning the attack due to political rivalry.

CCB has filed an interim charge sheet naming Sampath Raj, Zakir among 60 accused.

Asked whether the party will stand with Sampath Raj, Shivakumar said “I will stand by all Congressmen, all of them are innocent.”

To a question about Akhanda Srinivas Murthy, whose house was attacked, seeking Sampath Raj’s suspension from the party, he said, “it may be his political agenda, we are not going to suspend any one.”

Shivakumar said the party had got an internal inquiry done by three former Home Ministers of the state and senior leaders under the leadership of former Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara and they had submitted their report.

Asked whether he was accusing his own party MLA (Muthy) of doing politics in the issue, the KPCC chief merely said, “I don’t want to comment much.. we will internally take whatever action that needs to be taken.”

The violence in D J Halli and adjoining areas on August 11 night was unleashed by hundreds of people over a social media post allegedly put out by P Naveen, a relative of Akhanda Srinivasa Murthy.

The MLA’s residence and a police station at D J Halli were torched by rioters who also set many police and private vehicles afire, and looted the belongings of the legislator and his sister.

The National Investigation Agency probing cases relating to violence have questioned two Congress MLAs B Z Zameer Ahmed Khan and Rizwan Arshad to know about what led to the incident.

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