DJ Halli violence: Probe police failure as well, urges fact-finding team

Among other things, the intelligence wing failed to anticipate trouble, says report

Urging the State government to expand the scope of inquiry into the recent violence at D.J. Halli and K.J. Halli, a fact-finding team comprising civil society groups wants the probe to include alleged police failure in handling the violence.

The report that was released on Wednesday said the police had failed in taking action against P. Naveen Kumar, who had put up an inflammatory post on Facebook that had triggered the violence, and also taking adequate measures to prevent escalation of violence. The intelligence wing of the police should be probed for its failure to anticipate trouble, the report said.

As many as four persons were killed in police action on August 11 as violence broke out in K.J. Halli and D.G. Halli police limits following an inflammatory post against Islam put up on Facebook by Naveen Kumar, the nephew of Pulikeshinagar legislator Akhanda Srinivasmurthy.

Some of the steps taken post violence, the report said, amounted to human rights violation, and pointed out that the government had appointed a Claims Commissioner to recover cost even before the enquiry is completed. This comes at a time when the government has decided to drop criminal cases against 62 elected representatives/leaders belonging to the BJP, the report stated.

The violence seems to be not pre-planned nor communally instigated, since there was not enough evidence to prove these, the report said, adding that it appeared like the mob did not have leadership. It, however, said that there have been attempts to use the violence for political gains by the BJP and its affiliates.

The fact-finding team has urged the government to withdraw cases against the accused under the UAP Act, and has sought a free and fair trial. The government should also start a socio economic survey of the violence-hit areas to understand the impact of COVID-19 that has resulted in loss of livelihood and health issues, the report urged.

The 23-member panel included child rights activist Neena Nayak. This was the fourth fact-finding committee, after those formed by the Congress, the BJP, and another by a group called Citizens for Democracy.

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