Congress leader and riots accused ex-Bengaluru mayor absconding: Police
The riots were allegedly caused after the estranged nephew of a Congress MLA Akhanda Srinivasa Murthy responded to a social media post with another objectionable one, leading to burning down of two police stations, the house of the MLA and nearly 60 vehicles in the subsequent bedlam.Updated: Oct 30, 2020, 23:16 IST
A former mayor of Bengaluru city Sampath Raj, who is also a key accused in the riots which happened on August 11 this year, is ‘absconding’, according to the city police. Raj , also a Congress leader, is a sitting corporator in the outgoing Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP).
The riots were allegedly caused after the estranged nephew of a Congress MLA Akhanda Srinivasa Murthy responded to a social media post with another objectionable one, leading to burning down of two police stations, in DJ Halli and KG Halli, the house of the MLA and nearly 60 vehicles in the subsequent bedlam.
According to police, Sampath Raj had got himself admitted to a private hospital, saying he had Covid-19. Police had issued a notice to the Baptist hospital on October 7, asking that they be notified before the former Mayor was discharged. However when police went to meet Raj at the hospital on Thursday night, he had been discharged without them being informed. His home in Cox Town is also said to be locked.
Police have issued a notice to the hospital, seeking an explanation why they discharged the former Mayor in spite of their specific request that they be informed before doing so. “Fearing arrest since September 14, Raj has been in and out of hospital claiming medical grounds at least four times,” a senior police officer who did not want to be identified told HT. The team of doctors who treated Raj is also being questioned.
In the preliminary 50 page charge sheet submitted in the Bengaluru riots case, the central crime branch has named Sampath Raj, along with another Congress corporator Zakir, as key instigator. The cops in the charge sheet say that the riots were caused due to intra-party political enmity between the MLA and the corporators.
Nearly 378 people have been arrested for indulging in violence which led to the death of three people.
“Our information is that he may be headed to Kerala and thus we have spread a dragnet to detain him,” the officer quoted above said. Raj has also been officially issued another notice to appear before the police.