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17 SDPI, PFI Activists Held as NIA Makes 187 Arrests in Connection with Bengaluru Violence

Two-wheelers that were set on fire by the mob in Bengaluru. (Image: Sudhakar/News18)

Two-wheelers that were set on fire by the mob in Bengaluru. (Image: Sudhakar/News18)

About 3,000 to 4,000 people had gone on a rampage torching the residences of Pulakeshinagar Congress MLA R Akhanda Srinivasa Murthy and his sister Jayanthi over an alleged inflammatory social media post by the MLA's relative.

Making 187 arrests in the Bengaluru riots case on August 11, the National Investigation Agency on Monday said it has held 17 leaders and activists of the Social Democratic Party of India and Popular Front of India.

About 3,000 to 4,000 people had gone on a rampage torching the residences of Pulakeshinagar Congress MLA R Akhanda Srinivasa Murthy and his sister Jayanthi over an alleged inflammatory social media post by the MLA's relative. They had also set on fire the Devara Jeevanahalli and the Kadugondanahalli (KG) police stations.

The NIA said that its investigation has established that accused extensively used social media channels like Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp to "spread terror among people and mobilised people from far away places to gather at KG Halli Police Station. "

The 17 arrested on Monday are:

1.Mohammed Shariff

2. Mohd Ateef

3. Shabbar Khan

4. Irfan Khan

5. Azil Pasha

6. Akbar Khan

7. Sayyed Sohel Torvi

8. Saddam aka Kareem

9. Mohammed Kaleem Ahmed

10. Muhammed Mudassir Kaleem

11. Naqeeb Pasha

12. Kaleemulla aka Shahrukh

13. Imran Ahmed

14. Mohammed Azhar

15. Rubah Waqas

16. Imran Ahmed

17. Shaik Ajmal

"Accused Saddam, Sayed Sohel, Kaleemulla alias Shahrukh Khan were active social media users, who participated in riots as well as instigated others to gather at the police station," an NIA spokesperson said.

Detailing the role of the other accused, the NIA said, "Investigation so far has revealed that the SDPI leaders, namely, Md. Sharieff, President, Bengaluru District, SDPI, Imran Ahmed, President, KG Halli Ward, along with other senior leaders like Rubah Waqas, Shabbar Khan and Shaik Ajmal had conducted meetings at Thanissandra and KG Halli wards in Bengaluru in the evening of 11.8.2020 wherein they conspired, mobilised and led the crowd gathered at KG Halli Police station to attack the police personnel, causing huge damage to the public and police station vehicles."

The agency added that accused Abbas, SDPI President of Nagwara ward, had also mobilised large crowd at the KG Halli police station through his associates Azil Pasha, Irfan Khan and Akbar Khan.

SDPI has denied any involvement in the riots but the NIA has claimed that several incriminating evidence were recovered during its searches at premises of SDPI activists who have been made accused in the case. The agency said that it found airgun, pellets, sharp weapons and iron rods during the searches. It also said some digital devices and many incriminating documents related to Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) and the Popular Front of India (PFI) were recovered in the raids carried out in September this year.

first published:December 21, 2020, 22:18 IST