The Bengaluru Police has arrested six members of the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) for attacking a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) activist, who participated in a pro-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) rally last month.
On December 22, 2019, Varun Bhoopalam (31), who attended the ‘India with CAA’ rally organised by various pro-Hindu organisations, was attacked by six people when he was riding home from the event at the Town Hall.
The arrested have been identified as Mohammed Irfan (33), Syed Akbar (46), Sanaulla Sherief (28), Syed Siddique Akbar (30), Akbar Basha (27), Sadiq Ul Amin (39) all are residents of East and North Bengaluru.
Addressing the press conference, Bengaluru City Police Commissioner Bhaskar Rao said, the arrested also wanted to attack and kill the leaders who took part in the pro-CAA event held at the Town Hall on December 22, 2019. BJP Bengaluru south MP Tejasvi Surya and right-wing leader Chakravarthy Sulibele were among the prominent speakers
at last month’s pro-Citizenship Amendment Act rally.
“The gang of six were in the protest venue wearing saffron clothes and merged with the crowd at the town hall. Their plan was to kill the leaders who attended India with the CAA rally. Hence they planned to create chaos by pelting stones on the crowd so they thought this would disperse the crowd leaving the leaders isolated so they would kill them,” said Bhaskar Rao.
According to the police, the gang pelted stones at the crowd, but due to the large gathering at the rally, their actions did not have any effect. The incident also did not come to the notice of the policemen present there. “Since their plan failed, the gang wanted to kill any Hindu activist who attended the rally. Then they followed Varun Bhoopalam who was on his way home on a bike. They attacked him near Kalasipalya and they fled towards Bidadi. Later the two of them returned to see if the man had died. But by then the public shifted the victim to Victoria Hospital and later survived,” Rao added.
Police have analysed footage from 700 CCTV cameras along the path of Town Hall to the scene of the crime to identify the accused. “They had systematically well planned and hatched a criminal conspiracy with animus intention and had come well-prepared to commit the offence. They have used helmets to hide their identity, had worn 2 to 3 shirts one over the other, kept their mobile phones switched on at their home and had also applied black soot on the number plates of the vehicles. Later after the commission of the offence, they have removed the shirts worn over and have burnt them with petrol in the middle of their way. The accused have thrown the weapons into a lake near Anchepalya, disposed off their helmets into a pond near Ramamurthy Nagar, thrown their shoes into the drainage and had also hidden their vehicles,” Rao explained.
The commissioner said all the accused were associated with the SDPI and being paid Rs 10,000 every month, adding that the investigation is ongoing to ascertain their financiers. “I have formed a special investigation team to investigate the SDPI activities and take necessary action,” Rao said.
Meanwhile, Tejasvi Surya said that the SDPI should be banned as it is involved in several murders of RSS and Hindu right-wing workers in Karnataka. He said he will talk to Union Home Minister Amit Shah who will be in Karnataka on Saturday to address a pro-CAA rally in Hubballi regarding banning the SDPI. “SDPI workers are involved in attacking and killing many Hindu activists in the state and also said that they are behind Mangaluru violence and also attack senior Congress leader Tanveer Sait,” Surya said.
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