Bengaluru Police arrested five of Mohammed Haris Nalapad’s associates on Sunday in connection with the case of assault against a 24-year-old man at a popular café.
The two teams formed to nab Nalapad and his henchmen have arrested Abhishek, Arun, Balakrishna, Manjunath and Rachik. They are believed to be associates of Nalapad, who were part of the alleged brutal attack against the victim Vidvat at Farzi Café in UB City mall on Saturday night.
“We are looking for Nalapad and five other associates, who had gone to the café to beat up Vidvat. We are trying to track down Nalapad’s mobile phone,” the Cubbon Park Police said.
Speaking to TNM, Congress MLA Haris claimed that even he is unaware of his son’s whereabouts.
"I don't know where my son is. He did not come home last night, I know the father of the boy who got hit and I have also visited him in the hospital. Such things should not happen and youngsters should understand how to behave. I shouted at him over the phone and since then it has been switched off and he has not been in touch,” Haris said.
“I will make sure that my son does not repeat such things again. Now that the police have filed an FIR, let them take whatever action they want," he added.
With election just months away, opposition BJP and AAP were quick to corner the ruling Congress over the issue of Shantinagar Congress MLA NA Haris’ son Mohammed Nalapad attacking and threatening a man.
An FIR has been registered under IPC sections 341 (wrongful restrain), 506 (criminal intimidation), 143 and 144 (unlawful assembly), 146 and 147 (rioting), 326 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons) and 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peach) at the Cubbon Park Police Station. 10 of Nalapad’s associates have also been named in the FIR.
According to the FIR, Praveen Venkatachalaiah and his friend Vidvat (24) had gone to Farzi Cafe on Saturday night for dinner, when a fight broke out. Nalapad had allegedly got into a fight with Vidvat for stretching out his legs in the café. He later called his henchman, who allegedly assaulted Vidvat.
Currently, Vidvat is recovering at the Mallya Hospital. 10 of Nalapad’s associates have also been named in the FIR.
The AAP and the BJP with scores of their supporters held separate protests on Monday outside the Cubbon Park PS urging the police to arrest Nalapad.
While BJP’s protest was led by ward leader Ravi Gowda, even Bengaluru Central MP PC Mohan joined the protests and demanded that the police arrest the accused at the earliest.
The AAP demonstrations were led by its state convenor Prithvi Reddy.
Meanwhile, the Congress in damage control mode tried to disassociate Harris’s son from the party and assured that law will take its own course. Nalapad was expelled from the Congress for a period of six years and removed from the post of General Secretary, Youth Congress wing of Bengaluru.
CM Siddaramaiah tweeted, “Offenders should be punished to the full extent of law regardless of who they are. No less, no more. @CPBlr will take action as per law and bring the guilty to book.”
Soon after the incident came to light, other such incidents involving Nalapad started being discussed. The BJP alleged that in all those cases he got away due to his father’s influence.
Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy who visited the victim at the hospital told reporters, “Action will be taken against Nalapad. His father (Vidvat’s) has requested the police to add attempted murder charge also. Once the accused are questioned, then the police will decide. If he is not arrested by the end of the day then the CI and ACP will be suspended. I am not aware of the other incidents but in this case a man has been beaten up and a case has been registered.