On Tuesday, August 11, 2020, upon a facebook message allegedly posted by a relative of a Congress Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA), three people were allegedly killed and about sixty police personnel were injured in the eastern suburbs of Bengaluru after violent clashes broke out on site. Upset, unpleased and angry crowd of about 1000 people went on a rampage in Kaval Byrasandra in Bengaluru to protest against the Facebook post allegedly by, then identified as, P Naveen, nephew of the Congress MLA R Akhanda Srinivas Murthy. The mob attacked the Congress MLA’s house destroying vehicles parked outside. The crowd didn’t stop there and marched towards two police stations, KG Halli and DJ Halli, where they hurled stones at the police stations and even tried to burn them down.
The accused, Naveen, who then claimed that his account was hacked and hence justified the situation regarding the post, was arrested with 110 others. A total of around 145 people have been arrested regarding the case which was filed by an officer who then led the team. The First Information Report (FIR) filed in the case read by a sub-inspector said, “I got instructions from the authorities that I should search for Naveen. By the time I came out, hundreds of people from the Muslim community had gathered in the area. They carried sharp weapons, swords, poles… these people ransacked Naveen’s house and set fire to a part of it.” Nearly 200 bikes that were kept in the basement of the DJ Halli police station were set on fire. The building too, was damaged.
In Oct, 2020, during the ongoing investigation of the case, it was revealed that one of the accused was former Mayor and sitting Congress corporator, R Sampath Raj. “He has been named as one of the accused in the DJ halli and KG halli violence.” a top police officer associated with the investigation of the case told PTI. Apparently, he had information of the violence and did not share it with the police. Along with Pulakeshinagar Congress corporator Abdul Rakeeb Zakir, Sampath Raj was interrogated for hours and Sampath Raj was arrested allegedly for his role in the violence. Sampath Raj’s assistant, Arun Kumar, was earlier arrested for allegedly remaining in touch with the ring leaders of the Bengaluru violence.
Karnataka: Congress leader and former Bengaluru Mayor Sampath Raj has been arrested in DJ Halli and KG Halli violence incident case, says Sandeep Patil, Joint Commissioner, Central Crime Branch
— ANI (@ANI) November 16, 2020
Zakir’s involvement in the case was still in question.
The two, Raj and Zakir, fled the situation and resided in secret after being accused and question. On Tuesday, Nov 17, 2020, Sampath Raj was arrested after he fled a hospital where he was admitted to be treated for Covid-19. Prior to his arrest, the police also arrested his aide, Mohd Riyazuddin Khan, who helped him and Zakir escape and provided them shelter.