BENGALURU: There is no substantial evidence to suggest that the violence at DJ Halli and KG Halli on August 11 was premeditated or communal in nature. Rather, it was a spontaneous incident that political parties took advantage of with an eye on the upcoming BBMP elections, according to a fact-finding report.“All we spoke to expressed that this was indeed a local and spontaneous incident that had been taken advantage of by different political parties for immediate political gains which included the upcoming corporator elections,” the report, ‘Communalising Violence in DJ Halli’, stated.
A 24-member team comprising researchers, activists, human rights organisations, and advocates, which visited the riot-hit areas between August 20 and September 1 released the report on Wednesday.Though a social media post by Naveen P, nephew of Congress MLA Akhanda Srinivas Murthy, that allegedly triggered the incident was clearly meant to incite violence, his motive had not been sufficiently investigated by the police nor discussed by the media, the report said.
The police failed to act effectively on the post when small delegations approached the police station, and also failed to intervene in effective ways to prevent the violence from escalating.“The police seem to have abandoned the situation like in Kaval Byrasandra, where despite repeated phone calls to the police station, the police either came late or when they did arrive at the site of violence, did so in small insignificant numbers. The police are responsible for delayed response in registering an FIR against Naveen, which resulted in a discontented crowd swelling at the stations,” the report said, adding that the police violated the rights of the accused by not following due procedure during and after the arrests.
It was accepted by various groups that Muslim youths assisted in protecting the homes and vehicles of Hindu and Christian families. They formed a human chain outside the Hanuman temple and the police station to keep the mob at bay.The report said barring a few exceptions like the English print media, media coverage of the incident was biased and largely unsubstantiated.
UAPA was unwarranted
“The unwarranted invocation of UAPA in the present case evidences its misuse and abuse to further a communal narrative against the Muslim community, and target the SDPI. The arbitrary use of UAPA and proposal to refer the case to the NIA appears to be part of a pattern on the part of the ruling government to stereotype the entire Muslim community as being anti-national and traitors,” the report said.
- Investigate Naveen’s Facebook post and failure to take immediate action against Naveen
- Probe police failure in handling the situation and the intelligence failure
- Survey the area to assess loss of livelihoods, nutrition, health and shelter post the lockdown, and measures to address them
- Withdraw charges under the UAPA