Bengaluru: The Bengaluru police’s Central Crime Branch Thursday made 60 more arrests in connection with the 11 August riots in the city that left three persons dead. Among those arrested is former Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) corporator Kaleem Pasha, whose role in the violence over an objectionable social media post about Prophet Muhammad is being investigated.
The total number of arrests in the case now stands at 206.
The name of Kaleem Pasha, husband of BBMP’s Nagawara corporator Irshad Begum cropped up during the interrogation of Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) leader Muzammil Pasha, who was arrested by the police after the riots.
“Continuing the arrest in DJ Halli/KJ Halli case, another 60 accused have been arrested, including Kaleem Pasha. The total number of arrests is now 206,” said CCB Joint Commissioner (Crime) Sandeep Patil.
Pasha is believed to be a close associate of Congress’ Sarvagnanagar MLA and former Karnataka home minister K.J. George, and also that of Shivajinagar MLA Rizwan Arshad.
Speaking to ThePrint, Arshad said Pasha is a “Congress strongman who fought against the SDPI”. “As a leader, he interacted with all Congress leaders.”
While George could not be contacted, his office reiterated what he has said in his social media posts.
“We have a strong police department and I have full faith that they will go to bottom of this and apprehend the culprits responsible,” he posted.
It’s come to my notice that certain Media channels with political affiliation have been trying to do a #media_trial on the #KavalByrasandra riots!
Stern action should be taken against anyone who is linked to arson&inciting of mob violence irrespective of their political lineage.
— KJ George (@thekjgeorge) August 13, 2020
4 police teams on case, 7 FIRs filed
Bengaluru reported communal tension Tuesday after riots broke out in the DJ Halli and KG Halli limits of Puleskhinagar. The violent attacks were a fallout of an alleged derogatory Facebook post about Prophet Mohammad by P. Naveen Kumar, nephew of Pulakeshinagar Congress MLA Akhand Srinivas Murthy.
Naveen was arrested soon after the riots. While the post has since been deleted, Naveen has claimed that his account was hacked.
The Bengaluru police formed four teams to investigate the case, and a total of seven FIRs have been filed since the incident.
The FIRs specify that the attack on the police in DJ Halli and KG Halli was “pre-planned”.
Police sources privy to the investigation told ThePrint that one of the FIRs specifically mentioned how five persons led a mob of over 300 people.
“The mob raised slogans to “attack , kill and not spare the police”. People who attacked the police station were heavily armed with rods, stones , machetes and knives, the FIR read.
Nearly 60 police personnel, including two officers of deputy commissioner of police rank, were injured. The irate mob attacked the house of MLA Murthy, setting on fire vehicles belonging to the police and neighbouring residents.