Siddaramaiah Says Congress Will Raise Bengaluru Clashes Issue In Assembly

Siddaramaiah said whoever was responsible and however influential they are, they should be punished if found guilty.

Siddaramaiah Says Congress Will Raise Bengaluru Clashes Issue In Assembly

Siddaramaiah Says innocent people should not be punished. (File)

Bengaluru:

Demanding a fair probe into last month's violence in the city, Leader of the Opposition in the Karnataka Assembly Siddaramaiah today said the Congress will raise the issue during the coming monsoon session of the state legislature.

The former Chief Minister, who was under COVID-19 treatment when the incident occurred, today visited DJ Halli and adjoining areas, where rioters were involved in arson on the night of August 11.

"I urge the government that the inquiry has to happen as soon as possible. It should be fair and the guilty should be punished," Mr Siddaramaiah said.

He said whoever was responsible and however influential they are, they should be punished if found guilty.

Innocent people should not be punished, he said.

Pointing out that he has demanded constitution of a judicial commission to probe the incident for the truth to come out, Mr Siddaramaiah said "even today I demand a judicial commission, headed by a sitting High Court judge. "...we will raise the issue (Bengaluru violence) in the assembly," he said in response to a question.

The monsoon session of the legislature will be held from September 21 to 30.

Three people were killed after police opened fire on August 11 night to quell a mob that went on a rampage over an inflammatory social media post allegedly put out by P Naveen, a relative of Pulakeshinagar Congress MLA R Akhanda Srinivasa Murthy.

The MLAs residence and a police station at DJ Halli were torched by the rioters, who also set ablaze many police and private vehicles, besides looting the belongings of the legislator and his sister.

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More than 300 people have been arrested in connection with the violence and investigation is on.

Also, retired judge Justice HS Kempanna has been appointed as the "Claims Commissioner" to assess the damage caused during the violence and to recover the costs from the culprits.

To a query about the alleged involvement of some Congress corporators behind the incident, Siddaramaiah asked how someone cane be blamed unless it is proved or their is evidence.

"I don't want to talk about any party... the inquiry is still in the preliminary stage. We cannot say such things like BJP leaders and the Home Minister are doing at this stage."

Siddaramaiah opined that if the police had announced Naveen's arrest to the mob immediately, mostly this level of violence wouldn't have happened.

He said: "according to some, there are innocents among those arrested... during the investigation if there is no evidence against them, they should be released. Innocents should not be punished, they should not be sent to jail."

BJP National General Secretary BL Santosh, who has been critical of Siddaramaiah, accusing him of not condemning the rioters who attacked the house of his own party Dalit MLA Murthy, reiterated his allegation. "Ex CM from INC Karnataka just gives sanction for destruction and riots in case of even flimsy grievance. No wonder he was voted out conclusively by voters of Karnataka. Can't condemn riots or attack on his Party's Dalit MLA, but bats for rioters," Mr Santosh tweeted.