Bengaluru Police Summon Former Mayor Sampat Raj in Riots Case, Form Special Teams to Search for Him

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The Bengaluru Central Crime Branch police has issued a notice to former Mayor, R. Sampat Raj who is absconding, for his alleged role in the Bengaluru riots.

Speaking to IANS, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), B. R. Venugopal, said the police have pasted notices at both of Raj's residences asking him to appear before the police.

"We have formed special teams to search for Raj," the ACP added.

However, a police source said pasting notices at the premises of the accused will facilitate his prosecution.

If Raj fails to respond to the notices, the official added, he will be presumed intentionally avoiding police questioning.

"Earlier, when we wanted to question him, he got himself admitted to a hospital on pretext of being Covid-19 positive and finally escaped from there. It will help build a case against him," the police said, adding, Raj had avoided the second round of questioning since he himself appeared during the first round of questioning in August.

"We have pasted notices at his Pulikeshinagar residence and sister's house in Chamarajpet," the official said.

Ahead of the Bengaluru by-elections and after nearly 23 days, former Mayor Raj "escaped" from the hospital on October 7.

The CCB police had submitted over a 400-page preliminary chargesheet against the accused Raj, a former Congress Councillor from D. J. Halli, responsible for instigating a violent mob setting Akhanda Srinivasa Murthy's house on fire on August 11. Murthy is a Congress MLA from Pulikeshnagar.

The alleged derogatory Facebook post by R. Naveen, the Pulikeshnagar Congress MLA's nephew, led to an angry mob gathering at K. J. Halli and D. J. Halli police station areas, demanding Naveen's arrest.

The infuriated mob resorted to arson and looting after the police delayed taking any action against the accused Naveen.

The angry mob also set the MLA's house on fire and finally the police resorted to firing to disperse the crowd.