The National Investigation Agency (NIA), along with the Bengaluru police, has arrested an absconding accused in the DJ Halli riots case on Monday, September 20. Tabrez, a 35-year-old member of the Sagaipuram ward of the Social Democratic Party of India, which is a political outfit of the Popular Front of India, was arrested from Old Bengaluru Layout. Tabrez has been accused of hatching the conspiracy of the violent attacks that broke out on August 11 outside the DJ Halli police station, and also for instigating others on WhatsApp groups. The NIA also found during the investigation that he was involved in burning vehicles and damaging public as well as private properties. Further investigation is underway, the NIA said in a press release.
On August 11, 2020, violence had broken out in KG Halli and DJ Halli areas over an alleged derogatory post on Facebook by Naveen Kumar, nephew of MLA Akhanda Srinivas Murthy. The mob was earlier protesting outside the DJ Halli police station, demanding Kumar’s arrest which later turned violent. The protestors also tried to torch the MLA’s house on fire.
Cases were first registered at the DJ Halli and KG Halli police stations, which were later taken over by NIA on September 21, 2020. The investigative agency re-registered the case and filed a chargesheet before the special court under various sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, Indian Penal Code and Prevention of Destruction and Loss of Property Act against 109 persons in February 2021, including Tabrez.
Earlier in August, the NIA carried out searches in seven locations in the city. A spokesperson of the agency had told the media that they found incriminating documents and electronic devices were seized from the premises of absconding accused persons.
In June, the accused persons who were released on bail addressed a press conference and alleged that they were not only falsely arrested but also harassed by the police. The five accused—Syyed, Masood, Muzamil Pasha, Sameeruddin, Mohammed Sirajuddin told the press that after being arrested under a false pretext, they were labelled as ‘terrorists’ due to vendetta.
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