Karnataka Congress chief DK Shivakumar on Thursday accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of influencing the investigation into the August 11 Bengaluru violence, PTI reported.
He also said that the police should not act as the agents of the state and denied that the Congress had any role in the violence. Karnataka Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai had on Tuesday alleged that animosity within the Congress played a role in the violence.
“Mr Police Commissioner we will not allow you to do this,” he said. “Not against [the] BJP, but the protest will begin against you. No Congressmen is responsible for this [violence]. It is your [police’s] failure. You have not handled it well. We condemn the incident.”
The police are also looking into Congress corporators R Sampath Raj, Abdul Rakeeb Zakir and Kaleem Pasha, the husband of Nagawara corporator Irshaad Begum, to see if they had any role in the August 11 violence. Pasha has already been arrested and the Central Bureau of Investigation questioned Raj and Zakir on Tuesday.
The state Congress chief also demanded that a sitting High Court judge probe the incident instead of a magisterial-level investigation ordered earlier by Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa.
Shivakumar made the statement at an event to celebrate the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and former Chief Minister Devraj Urs. He also launched an agitation against the corruption in the state government.
Yediyurappa, responding to Shivakumar’s allegations, said that the Congress should not fix blame before the investigation is over, ANI reported.
Karnataka Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar also attacked Shivakumar for targeting the police commissioner, according to ANI.
“The KPCC [Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee] president has publicly attacked Bengaluru Police Commissioner Kamal Pant, who is conducting an honest investigation in the mischief of the violence case and called him a BJP agent,” he said. “Why is DK Shivakumar so afraid of honest investigation? This attempt is to protect whom?”
At least four people were killed and around 60 police personnel were injured as violence broke out in parts of Bengaluru on August 11, in connection with an allegedly derogatory Facebook post about Prophet Muhammad by a relative of Congress MLA R Akhanda Srinivas Murthy. The MLA’s house was also vandalised.
On Monday, Yediyurappa said that his government will approach the Karnataka High Court to appoint a “claim commissioner” who will be responsible for assessing damages to private and public property during the violence in Bengaluru.
The police on Thursday arrested four more people in connection with the violence. As many as 309 suspects have been arrested in the case so far.