Bengaluru: A day after going on the backfoot over the Bengaluru riots, the Congress on Saturday decided to hit back at the government for issuing notices to three more Congress Corporators in the area. This has triggered a war of words between Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai and KPCC President DK Shivakumar, with the latter alleging that the police were blackmailing Corporators to get forced confessions.
Meanwhile, the total number of arrests in Devarajeevanahalli (DJ Halli) and Kadugondana Halli (KG Halli) have gone up to 290 and the police expects total arrests to cross 500 in next two or three days.
After the arrest of Corporator Irshaad Begum's husband Khaleem Pasha, based on his WhatsApp call and message details, the police arrested 60 people, including three more Congress Corporators who were in touch with him. On Saturday, Home Minister Bommai said that the three Corporators will have to appear for inquiry before police.
Irked by the statement, Shivakumar alleged that the BJP had instigated the violence and now are blackmailing Congress Corporators to get forced confessions to pin the blame of violence on the internal bickering within the Congress.
"Who is Basavaraj Bommai to say notice has been issued? Is he a sub-inspector? We know that they are blackmailing the Congress Corporators and getting confessions to cater their needs. The entire riots were masterminded by BJP and Sangh Parivar. Now, they are painting it as internal bickering of Congress," Shivakumar said.
Reacting sharply, Bommai said that the police has issued notices to three Corporators. "They have to come and testify. If they are innocent, there is not need for anyone to be afraid," he said.
A day after the violence, Congress had gone on the back foot, realising that some of their leaders were apparently involved with the SDPI in the violence. While former mayor Sampath Raj, who was an aspirant for the Pulikeshinagar constituency ticket was the first suspect, there were others who nursed grouse against MLA Akhanda Srinivas Murthy.
Though Akhanda Srinivas Murthy won the constituency hands down twice -- once on JD(S) ticket and another time on Congress ticket, there is a lot of heartburn against him in the constituency. It is a minority dominated area and a reserved constituency.
During the BBMP elections, the SDPI had ensured the defeat of three Srinivas Murthy loyalists, including his wife. Despite internal bickering, Srinivas Murthy managed and ensured that the people in his constituency did not desert him. This warranted his detractors to hire people from outside his constituency, the police investigation so far has revealed.
NAVEEN AND PASHA WERE ON FACEBOOK WAR FOR A WEEK
During the investigation, Naveen, whose derogatory post led to the violence, has admitted that he had indeed posted the derogatory message. Earlier, he had claimed that he had lost his mobile phone at around 4 pm and the post was up by 7 pm. He had also feigned innocence over the content of the post also.
However, during interrogation, Naveen admitted that he hid his mobile phone after the violence broke out and handed over the mobile to police. Naveen told the police that he was a BJP member, but had maintained good relationships with minorities in the area. However, for the last one week, Corporator Irshaad Begums's husband Khaleem Pasha had been instigating him on Facebook. In a fit of rage, he downloaded an image from Google and posted it as a reply to Khaleem Pasha's post insulting Ram Temple.
Naveen's statement has made the police to believe that the conspiracy for instigating violence was hatched weeks ago and Khaleem Pasha was in the forefront of it....