The Bengaluru Police said on Tuesday that Mohammed Nalapad, son of Congress MLA NA Haris, and his associates confessed to assaulting a 24-year-old man at a café on Saturday night. They clarified that the police were not under any pressure to protect the accused and the law would take its course.
Addressing reporters, DCP Central Chandragupta said, “Police being influenced by politicians in this case is a perception. We will not let criminals get away because no one is above the law. Earlier, no one had filed a complaint, but we will enquire and if the victims are willing to file complaints, we will register an FIR.”
He added, “We have eyewitnesses and CCTV footage to prove the charges. We are gathering more CCTV footage. A total of seven people have been arrested in connection with the case.”
Currently, Nalapad and his associates have been remanded to two days’ police custody ending on Wednesday for allegedly assaulting and threatening Vidvat.
Nalapad was arrested when he surrendered at the police station after evading arrest on Sunday.
The other accused in the case who have been arrested include Arun Babu, Manjunath, Mohammad Ashraf, Balakrishna, Abhishek and Nafi Mohammed Naseer.
“We have also added section 307 IPC (attempt to murder) on Monday night. The accused number 2 Sri Krishna is absconding,” the senior police officer said, adding that the fight did not end at the upscale eatery but Nalapad also followed the victim to the hospital and threatened him.
Vidvat’s family, the opposition BJP, AAP and JD (S) have demanded since Sunday that the accused be booked under section 307.
The DCP also confirmed that the scuffle between Nalapad and Vidvat, who is recovering at Mallya Hospital, started over the trivial matter of Vidvat stretching out his leg at the café.
Police are looking to identify others who had also attacked Vidvat.
Laxity on part of police?
Chandragupta also said that the Cubbon Park Police Station Inspector Vijay has been suspended after it was revealed that the FIR was registered on Sunday morning while the victim’s friend filed a complaint on Saturday night itself.
“As of now, what we know is when the fight broke out and the assault happened, people from Farzi Cafe informed the control room and police personnel rushed to the spot to take stock of the situation and later Vidvat’s friend had filed a complaint,” he added.
Attack on media
The DCP also said that one of Nalapad’s supporters who had allegedly assaulted journalists on Monday was arrested following a complaint.
It was reported that when Nalapad was being taken back to the police station from the court, Nalapad’s supporters attacked journalists to prevent them from recording the event.
One reporter who was present at the police station at the time told TNM that the police did not do anything to prevent the assault on media.
“We will also interrogate Vidvat once he recovers. Doctors have said he can’t talk right now,” Chandragupta said, adding there is a need to hear the other side of the story.
On Monday itself there were speculations that Nalapad’s aides will file a counter complaint in the case.
The DCP said that Arun Babu filed a complaint stating that it was Vidvat, who was reportedly drunk, who had assaulted Nalapad first.
“An FIR against Vidvat has been registered yesterday under IPC Sections 341 (wrongful restraint), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 405 (breach of trust),” he said.
First of all I want to apologise. I am an elected representative and a father. There are many here who have sons. Sons make mistakes and now I can’t say I can disown him for his behavior. Like our Home Minister said, because he is my son or if he is the son of someone in power, the way we see them differently is also wrong. I know that it is my duty to instill good behaviour and values in him and I will do it in the coming days. Our opposition leader, we have travelled together many times when he was a speaker. My son has also come with us and then they have also seen. In time and circumstances sometimes these things happen.
From my side to this assembly, to the government, I ask your forgiveness. Even those in the media, an incident has happened, it is not directly connected to me. When people gathered there (Cubbon Park police station), it happened. I am sorry for that also to the journalists because it is along with them that we protect the constitution and government. When elections are coming here, there is no need to exaggerate. I am on this side and you are on that side. We all have to go by the people if our children have to come here.
If there was any mistake, let there be punishment for that. There is no one above the law. I have said this earlier also. My son went to the police after 48 hours. His phone was switched off and I did not get through to him. If I had gotten through to him, I would have asked him to surrender then and there itself. So as soon as I got through to him I got him to surrender and now what the law says everyone has to follow it. We have the responsibility to take them in the right direction. If we say anything, we can never take it back. Everyone gets hurt. If we have a dead body and keep stabbing again and again with a knife is not good. There has been a mistake, please forgive it. I ask God that no father should come to my position.