The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Monday said it has held 17 leaders and activists of the Social Democratic Party of India and Popular Front of India. The agency made 187 arrests in the Bengaluru riots case on August 11 earlier this year.
As many as 4,000 people in August, over an alleged inflammatory social media post, went on a rampage and torched residences of Pulakeshinagar Congress MLA R Akhanda Srinivasa Murthy and his sister Jayanthi. The rioters also burned down the Devara Jeevanahalli and the Kadugondanahalli (KG) police stations.
According to the NIA, the investigation revealed that the accused extensively used social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp to “spread terror among people and mobilised people from faraway places to gather at KG Halli Police Station. “
“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,” NIA said.
Giving detailed role of the people accused, the agency said, “Investigation so far has revealed that the Social Democratic Party of India (SPDI) 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, mobilized 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.”
“Abbas, SDPI President of Nagwara ward, had also mobilized large crowd at the KG Halli police station through his associates Azil Pasha, Irfan Khan, and Akbar Khan,” it further added.
Meanwhile, the SDPI has denied any involvement in the riots, NIA, on the other hand, has claimed that several incriminating pieces of evidence were recovered during its searches at premises of SDPI activists who have been made accused in the case.
According to the agency, air guns, pellets, sharp weapons, and iron rods were found at the residences of SPDI activists. The agency has also claimed that digital devices and many incriminating documents related to SDPI and the PFI were recovered in the raids carried out in September this year.