Officials of the National Investigation Agency (NIA), which is probing two cases in connection with the August 11 east Bengaluru riots, arrested a 34-year-old auto driver based in the city on Tuesday. This is the second arrest made by the NIA. The accused, Setu, had allegedly been absconding since the day of the riot and the Central Crime Branch (CCB) sleuths of Bengaluru police had also been trying to nab him, the NIA said. According to the NIA, Setu is one of the prime accused in the case. He was caught when he returned to his DJ Halli residence on Wednesday.
The investigators said that Setu is a close associate of Muzzamil Pasha of the SDPI. They said by nabbing him, the probe agency can get hold of other accused who are absconding till now.
Earlier, just a day after taking over the probe, the national agency had arrested a 44-year-old accused who was working as a recovery agent for a bank.
Earlier in a statement, the NIA had said that a team, headed by an officer of Inspector-General of Police (IGP) rank, will be in charge of the probe. The NIA had taken up two cases in connection with the riots after the police had registered cases under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act [UAPA].
As widely reported, the mob violence on August 11 had begun outside DJ Halli police station and later spread to areas within the neighbouring KG Halli police station limits. Three persons were killed as police resorted to firing to contain the escalating violence. Another person, who was taken into custody, also died in the hospital due to a pre-existing health condition. The mob had gathered over a provocative and communally-charged social media post by Naveen, the nephew of local MLA Akhanda Srinivas Murthy. The MLAâ€™s house was set on fire and the DJ Halli police station was partially gutted. Many vehicles were burnt, among other damage to property.
The police have since arrested over 300 persons, including political functionaries of the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) and aides of Congress corporators. Incidentally, former Mayor Sampath Raj is among those who have been mentioned in the chargesheet.