Bengaluru Riots: Congress MLA Seeks Protection, Files Complaint

Bengaluru:  Distraught Congress legislator Akhanda Srinivasa Murthy, whose house was burnt in mob violence in Bengaluru’s eastern suburb on August 11, on Friday sought protection for himself and his family and people in his Pulakeshinagar Assembly segment.

“I have also filed a complaint in the local (DJ Halli) police station against the miscreants who burnt my house in the locality and destroyed property worth Rs 3 crore. I have also sought police protection for myself, my family and the people in my constituency, as outsiders were involved in destroying my house,” Murthy told reporters here.

An allegedly derogatory post on Facebook by Murthy’s nephew P. Naveen on August 11 triggered violence, arson and rioting by unruly mobs in the densely populated area, leading to police firing in which three youths died in the locality on the same night.

About 200 people, including some members of the Socialist Democratic Party of India (SDPI), a political outfit linked to the Popular Front of India (PFI), have been arrested for their alleged involvement in the mob violence and 11 FIRs (first information reports) have been filed against the main accused among them.

“I have sought stringent punishment against the culprits whoever they may be, as they have caused untold misery, loss and peace of mind. They have destroyed a house which my parents had built and where I grew up,” recalled Murthy.

Murthy, who joined the Congress from the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S), won from the reserved (ST) constituency in the May 2018 Assembly election for the second time.

Murthy also listed properties, including household items that were burnt when his house was torched during the mob violence.

Expressing shock and grief over the tragic events in his area, Murthy said he had no clue why his house was targeted and how the police failed to prevent the unruly mob from setting his house on fire.

“Even my sister’s house in the neighbourhood was not spared. What crime have we committed? If my nephew had done some mischief, action should have been taken against him rather than allowing miscreants to attack my house,” reiterated Murthy.

He expressed relief that his family members were away at a temple on Janmashtami when his house was set on fire and destroyed on the fateful night.

On initial probe hinting at the role of the SDPI in the riots, Murthy said it was for the police to find out who was behind the mob violence and punish the culprits, irrespective of their political affiliations and background.

Meanwhile, several people from the area, including minority leaders called on Murthy and expressed sympathy for the attack on his house.

Congress legislator from Chamarajpet in the city’s southwest suburb, Zameer Ahmed Khan, who was also in the JD-S earlier, called on Murthy and assured him of his support in rebuilding the house and ensuring safety for him and his family.



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