Bharatiya Janata Party MP Tejasvi Surya on Sunday claimed that Bengaluru has become an epicentre of terror activities and said he has requested Union Home Minister Amit Shah to set up a permanent division of the National Investigation Agency in the city, PTI reported.
His comments came a day after he was made the president of the BJP’s Yuva Morcha or youth wing after a rejig of the posts. Surya told reporters that many terror modules have been busted in Bengaluru.
Opposition leaders criticised Surya’s comments and social media users pointed out that Karnataka is ruled by the saffron party, NDTV reported. “The BJP should sack him,” Karnataka Congress chief DK Shivakumar said. “He is killing Bengaluru. It is a shame for the BJP”.
However, Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa supported the MP and said he has also been requesting Prime Minister Narendra Modi to set up a division of the NIA office in Bengaluru. “I congratulate the prime minister and home minister for agreeing,” Yediyurappa told reporters.
On whether he endorses Surya’s comments, the chief minister said: “He just said in this sense that nowadays in Bangalore terrorist activities are increasing.”
Surya on Sunday said he met Shah at the latter’s residence last week and stressed on the need to establish a well-equipped and sufficiently staffed NIA office to mitigate terror-related activities in Karnataka. “The home minister has assured that he will direct officials to establish a permanent station house manned by an officer of the rank of the SP [Superintendent of Police] at the earliest,” the Karnataka MP said. “In last few years, Bengaluru, the Silicon Valley of India, has become [an] epicentre of terror activities. It has been proved through many arrests and sleeper terror cells busted by the investigative agency in the city.”
The BJP leader claimed that many terrorist organisations were using the city as an “incubation centre” for carrying out “anti-India activities”, citing the August 11 violence in Bengaluru. The violence had begun over an allegedly derogatory Facebook post about Prophet Muhammad by a relative of Congress MLA R Akhanda Srinivas Murthy. Three people were killed in police firing and the NIA took over the case on September 22.
“There are reports that the NIA does not have sufficient infrastructure and human resources for conducting investigations,” Surya said. “NIA is currently operating with skeletal staff and that too from Hyderabad with only a camp office in Bengaluru...Bengaluru being the financial nerve centre of south India, it is vital to keep the city safe from all terrorist and anti-India organisations and their activities.”