D.J. Halli violence: Two MLAs questioned by NIA

Police had taken the help of B.Z. Zameer Ahmed and Rizwan Arshad to defuse the situation

The National Investigation Agency (NIA), which is probing the violence at D.J. Halli and K.J. Halli on August 11, questioned Chamrajpet MLA B.Z. Zameer Ahmed Khan and Shivaji Nagar MLA Rizwan Arshad on Tuesday.

“This is a part of the procedure. We are questioning witnesses who were present at the spot and tried to help the police contain the situation,” said an NIA official.

On August 11, the night of the violence, the police had called both MLAs to the spot to try and pacify the mob that had gathered to protest a derogatory social media post against Islam by Naveen Kumar, nephew of Pulikeshinagar MLA Akhanda Sreenivasa Murthy.

“We are probing what exactly happened and how the MLAs perceived the situation. Their statements were recorded,” said the NIA official.

Mr. Arshad said that they went to the spot that night to help the police defuse the situation. “We did what best we could to contain the situation. It was a big risk for us, but we saw it as our responsibility to ensure peace,” he said.

The investigation agency is also questioning senior police officials who were at the spot as well as prime suspect former mayor Sampath Raj and former Pulakeshinagar councillor Abdul Rakhib Zakir, both of whom have been named in the chargesheet filed by the Central Crime Branch (CCB) police. They have been accused of conspiracy and mobilising the mob to carry out attacks on the house MLA Akhanda Srinivasa Murthy due to alleged political rivalry.

Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah on Wednesday said that the Congress had no role in the violence and accused the ruling BJP of creating fear among party leaders and inducting them into the saffron party. Congress leaders will not fear the blackmailing tactics of the BJP, he told mediapersons.

Soon after taking over the case, the NIA on September 24 arrested Syed Sadiq Ali, 44, a recovery agent with a private bank for his alleged role as a key conspirator. Officials suspect Sadiq of being in touch with many accused who were a part of the conspiracy to create a law and order problem on a large scale.

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