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Former Mayor's Personal Assistant Arrested in Connection with Bengaluru Violence

A television news camera operator films burnt police bus and other private vehicles after violence erupted between police and protesters over a reported derogatory Facebook post about Islam's Prophet Mohammad, in Bengaluru, India, August 12, 2020. REUTERS/Sachin Ravikumar

A television news camera operator films burnt police bus and other private vehicles after violence erupted between police and protesters over a reported derogatory Facebook post about Islam's Prophet Mohammad, in Bengaluru, India, August 12, 2020. REUTERS/Sachin Ravikumar

The assistant, Arun Kumar, had allegedly instigated the mob against sitting MLA R Akhanda Srinivasa Murthy and his sister who were the prime target of the vandals during the violence on August 11, said police sources.

A personal assistant of a former Congress Mayor R Sampath Raj has been arrested in connection with the mob violence here last week, police said on Wednesday.

The assistant, Arun Kumar, had allegedly instigated the mob against sitting MLA R Akhanda Srinivasa Murthy and his sister who were the prime target of the vandals during the violence on August 11, police sources said.

"Yes, we arrested Arun Kumar," said Bengaluru Police Commissioner Kamal Pant.

The crowd, protesting a social media post by the MLA's nephew, had torched the house of Murthy and the DJ Halli and KG Halli police stations. They also badly damaged Jayanthi's house.

The police had on Tuesday questioned Sampath Raj and Pulakeshinagar ward corporator Abdul Rakeeb Zakir.

Police have so far arrested close to 300 people in connection with the violence that led to the death of four people, including three in police firing. Scores, including around 50 policemen, were injured in the violence that erupted on Tuesday night and continued till the wee hours of Wednesday.

The state government has said local level "political differences", especially within the Congress, and the Social Democratic Party of India's larger conspiracy to disturb law and order were among the reasons behind the violence.