Bengaluru violence: Deve Gowda says only real culprits should be punished after police arrest 140 for riots

The JD(S) leader also said that the BJP and Congress shouldn't indulge in a political blamegame regarding the violence

Press Trust of India August 13, 2020 21:23:24 IST
Bengaluru violence: Deve Gowda says only real culprits should be punished after police arrest 140 for riots

Bengaluru: Former prime minister HD Deve Gowda on Thursday said only those really guilty should be punished for the violence in parts of the city on 11 August, as he asked the Congress and BJP not to indulge in a political blamegame on the issue.

Expressing sadness over the attack on Pulakeshi Nagar MLA Akhanda Srinivasa Murthy's residence, the JD(S) patriarch also said the government should take action to get justice for him and give him compensation for the losses.

"The attack on Pulakeshi Nagar MLA Akhanda Srinivasa Murthy's residence is unfortunate and such incidents should not occur in any part of the country.

"Police have arrested about 140 people in connection with rioting, but how many among them are real culprits?" Gowda was quoted as saying by his office in a release.

He said, "All of them (arrested) cannot be culprits. Only those who are really guilty should be held responsible for the incident and merciless action should be taken against them. Innocents should not be punished, this is my request to the police."

Three people were killed after police opened fire to quell a mob that went on a  rampage in a city locality on Tuesday night over a purportedly inflammatory social media post allegedly put out by the Congress legislator Murthy's relative.

Urging the government to take merciless action against those really guilty, Gowda said, burning down houses, cars and looting the properties related to an MLA was unheard of in the state.

"Akhanda Srinivasa Murthy has not betrayed anyone, yes he was in our party earlier, that's a different matter. Government should take all necessary steps to get him justice. The loss that he has suffered, jewellery among other things.... he should be given compensation," he said.

Murthys residence and a police station at DJ Halli were among those targeted by the mob. The house of the MLA, who was not at home at the time, was allegedly set on fire.

Asking the BJP and Congress not to indulge in a political blamegame regarding the violence, Gowda said no one should speak according to their whims and fancies on such matters.

Further stating that the JD(S) will begin its statewide agitation from tomorrow against the state government's "anti-farmer" laws and amendments to the land reforms act, among others, he said, the protests will be flagged off from Hassan, by following COVID-19 guidelines.

Only 200 people are likely to participate in the protest tomorrow, he said.

Along with him, party state president HK Kumaraswmay, son and MLA HD Revanna will submit a memorandum to the governor through the district deputy commissioner.

Stating that the protest will be scaled up step by step in all the 30 districts next week, Gowda said as he cannot travel everywhere, the state president, party leaders and legislators will take the lead.

He pointed out that large-scale destruction have been caused to properties and crops due to recent rains and floods in different parts of the state.

The prime minister's recent meeting with minister from the state regarding the flood situation was not satisfactory, according to him.

Gowda urged the state government to send officials to districts and taluks to assess the damage and send a report to the Centre, adding that the centre should immediately send a team to the state.

"Last year injustice happened to us with regard to flood relief.It should not happen this time. I will speak about this in Parliament," Gowda, who is also a Rajya Sabha member, added.

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