Bengaluru riots: Thinking of banning SDPI, will discuss with Centre, says Karnataka govt

Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa will discuss the matter with the Centre after some members of SDPI were booked and arrested for the riots in Bengaluru on August 11.

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Several vehicles were burnt by the mob during the rampage in Bengaluru. (PTI)

The Karnataka government is considering the option of banning Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) and its political affiliate Popular Front of India (PFI) after some of their members were booked and arrested over their alleged involvement in the riots that broke out in Bengaluru on August 11.

So far, police have arrested four SDPI members, including a district-level officer bearer. Their names are: Muzammil Pasha, Afraz Pasha, Shaik Adil and Firoz.

Addressing the media after a cabinet meeting on Thursday, Karnataka Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai said Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa will speak with the Centre about the option of banning SDPI.

“The CM has said he will discuss it with the Centre,” Bommai said.

Speaking also on the matter, Karnataka Law Minister JC Madhu Swamy said, “I can't say that we will ban them (SDPI). We will initiate action under the law. If required, we will recommend the case to Centre and seek its guidance to ban or see that some action is initiated.”

Meanwhile, the state government has initiated the process to recover damages from those involved in the riots. The law minister said the government will estimate the loss so that it can be recovered from the rioters.

Speaking about the investigations into the riots, Bengaluru City Police Commissioner Kamal Pant said investigations are on and they are being carried out “purely based on facts and evidence”.

“Arrests based on evidence are still going on. We will find the accused wherever they are,” he said.

On August 11, riots broke out in DJ Halli area over a controversial social media post by the nephew of Akhanda Srinivasamurthy, the Congress MLA from Pulakeshinagar.

Over a thousand rioters gathered in the narrow by-lanes of DJ Halli, Kavalbyrasandra and KG Halli.

In the violence that ensued, four people lost their lives. More than 70 police personnel and 35 civilians also suffered injuries, and as many as 90 vehicles were burnt down.

Police have detained 385 people in connection with the violence.

On Monday, CM Yediyurappa in a tweet said, “Stringent action has been initiated against the culprits of DJ Halli and KG Halli violent incidents, including invoking of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act - UAPA Act.”

The SDPI and PFI have been under the lens of investigating agencies for organising these riots.

Congress MLA Akhanda Srinivasa Murthy's house was also attacked, looted and set on fire by the mob that was upset over a derogatory Facebook post by Murthy's nephew Naveen, who has now been sent to judicial custody.

Speaking to India Today TV, Karnataka Congress working president Eshwar Khandre said action should be taken against any organisation that was involved in the riots.

“Let them (government) take action against all organisations that indulge in these acts, be it SDPI, PFI, Bajrang Dal, etc. irrespective of their political affiliations,” he said.

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