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Cong Functionary and Ex-Bengaluru Mayor Sampath Raj, Corporator Questioned over Bengaluru Violence

File photo of a television news camera operator filming 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.

File photo of a television news camera operator filming 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.

Sampath Raj, who is now the Devara Jeevanahalli corporator, and Pulakeshinagar ward corporator Zakir appeared before officials in the afternoon and were questioned for many hours, said sources.

Former Bengaluru Mayor R Sampath Raj and Pulakeshinagar ward corporator Abdul Rakeeb Zakir were on Tuesday summoned for questioning by the Central Crime Branch in connection with the violence in parts of the city, Bengaluru police commissioner Kamal Pant said.

"Yes," Pant told PTI in a reply to a query whether Sampath Raj and Zakir, both Congress functionaries, were summoned for questioning.

According to police sources, Sampath Raj, who is now the Devara Jeevanahalli corporator, and Pulakeshinagar ward corporator Zakir appeared before the CCB officials in the afternoon and were questioned for many hours.

The reason behind summoning them was to find out whether the local politics in DJ Halli was the reason behind the violence on August 11 night in which the Pulakeshinagar Congress MLA R Akhanda Srinivasa Murthy's house was torched.

Murthy's sister Jayanthi's house was also attacked. Police sources said a few aides of Sampath Raj were reportedly seen during the violence whereas the police were verifying information that Zakir had forwarded a few WhatsApp messages, which might have caused the unrest.

"We are only verifying certain information for which we questioned them.There is nothing concrete as of now," a police officer said.

Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai had claimed that the internal strife in the Congress coupled with the upcoming Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (city corporation) elections had resulted in the violence in Pulakeshinagar.

Refuting Bommai's statement, the state Congress chief DK Shivakumar had alleged that the government was trying to cover up its failure to prevent the violence by giving misleading statements.