A day after taking over the investigations of the August 11 east Bengaluru riots, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has arrested a key accused in the case on Thursday after carrying out raids in more than 30 locations. The accused has been identified as Sayed Sadiq Ali (44) who is thought to be the key conspirator of the riots. According to the NIA, Sadiq was working as a bank loan recovery agent in the city.
In a statement, the NIA said, “During searches, airgun, pellets, sharp weapons, iron rods, digital devices, DVRs and many SDPI and PFI related incriminating documents and material have been seized.”
It was earlier reported that the NIA on Tuesday had taken over the probe of the riots concerning two of the multiple FIRs registered under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act [UAPA] by the DJ Halli and KG Halli police.
The NIA in a press statement had said that a team, headed by an Inspector-General of Police (IGP) rank will be in charge of the probe. The investigation was taken over by the NIA after the union government was asked to respond in a litigation at the Karnataka High Court. A Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) functionary in Bengaluru, Girish Bharadwaj had approached the Karnataka High Court, seeking the transfer of the riots case to the NIA.
Following that, the state government had also written to the union government seeking its opinion on the matter.
As it may be recalled that the mob violence on August 11 had started 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 in 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 MLA’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. The accused also includes persons who were previously accused of terror cases.