Bengaluru riots: Cong MLA Akhanda Murthy wants ex-Mayor Sampath Raj expelled from party

The MLA also demanded action against Congress corporator Abdul Rakeeb Zakir, who is accused along with Sampath Raj of instigating the mob violence.
DJ Halli Police Station, Bengaluru
DJ Halli Police Station, Bengaluru
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Pulikeshinagar Congress MLA Akhanda Srinivasa Murthy, whose house was attacked in the August 11 Bengaluru riots, reiterated his demand that his party should take immediate steps to expel former Congress Mayor R Sampath Raj and Congress corporator Abdul Rakeeb Zakir, who are accused in the riot case. Speaking to reporters in Bengaluru, Akhanda Murthy remarked that the Congress state unit president, DK Shivakumar is not interested in taking action on these two leaders. The chargesheet by the Central Crime Branch suggested that the duo instigated the mob violence which saw attacks launched at DJ Halli and KG Halli police station apart from the MLA's residence.

Sampath Raj, who has been arrested by the police in connection with the violence, absconded on October 30 from a hospital in Bengaluru after recovering from COVID-19.

MLA Akhanda Srinivasa Murthy charged that Sampath Raj would not have run away from the hospital if he was not guilty. "He is guilty. I know for sure," he said. Akhanda Murthy took exception to DK Shivakumar's silence on the issue so far and sought Shivakumar to support his case. Responding to a question, he contended that he had met Shivakumar twice at the latter's house in this regard but nothing came of it.

He, however, did not forget to thank leader of the opposition, Siddaramaiah and MLA Zameer Ahmed for supporting his case. "I am not indulging in vengeance. All I want is justice and it can be done by expelling those who instigated people against me," Murthy said. Emotionally choked, Akhanda Murthy claimed that he and his family are in dire need of support as they are the worst victims of vengeance as his family lost his ancestral home.

Meanwhile, on his part, the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president, Shivakumar strongly maintained that Sampath Raj's arrest was nothing but a political conspiracy hatched by the ruling BJP. Responding to a question, angrily countering Akhanda Murthy's claims, Shivakumar questioned who said he was not with Murthy? "Murthy is free to speak with me any day and any time. But this being the party's internal matter he cannot publicly comment on it. The party has given a forum, let him discuss there, going to the media will not help his cause," he retorted.

The incident took place on August 11, when Akhanda Srinivasa Murthy's nephew Naveen P had posted an insidious post on Facebook, which led to a mob gathering and indulging in arson in DJ  Halli and KG Halli police limits. In a bid to control the mob, the police opened fire in which four persons were killed.

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