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Former mayor Sampath Raj named conspirator- The New Indian Express

By Express News Service

BENGALURU: Former Bengaluru Mayor Sampath Raj has been named as one of the key conspirators in an incident where Pulikeshinagar MLA Akhanda Srinivasa Murthy’s residence was torched on August 11. The Central Crime Branch (CCB) police, who are investigating the case, have submitted a preliminary chargesheet to the court naming 60 people, including Raj, as accused.

The chargesheet has been filed in connection with an FIR based on a complaint registered by MLA Murthy, who had alleged that the arson had damaged movable and immovable properties worth `3 crore.

The police have registered more than 50 FIRs in connection with the DJ Halli riots, in which three people were killed in police firing after the mob set fire to the MLA’s residence, DJ Halli and KG Halli police stations, besides torching over 600 vehicles, including police buses, jeeps and vans.

A senior police officer said that this chargesheet is related only to the case filed by the MLA and the process of preparing chargesheets in other FIRs is on. “We have enclosed digital and material evidence along with the chargesheet to establish Sampath Raj’s role in the incident. We have gathered clinching evidence to prove his involvement,” the official said.

“Sampath Raj wanted to see an end to Murthy’s political career as they both nursed political rivalry for the last few years and he was waiting for an opportunity. On August 11, taking advantage of the sacrilegious post on social media by Murthy’s nephew Naveen, Raj allegedly conspired to create a law and order problem and tarnish Murthy’s image,” the official added.

‘Evidence piles up against Raj’

“He (Sampath Raj) conspired with his personal assistant Arun, car driver and others, and instigated people to torch the MLA’s house. We also have evidence to prove that he was just a few metres away from the MLA’s residence when the incident took place. He also made several phone calls to those directly involved in the arson. All these crucial details with evidence have been mentioned in the chargesheet,” the officer said, adding that Raj motivated the other accused to commit the offence with an ulterior motive, but gave it a colour of mob violence. The police had earlier arrested Raj’s PA Arun and also summoned Raj twice for questioning. It is learnt that Raj has been hospitalised, but his arrest is 
imminent, once he is discharged.

Pulakeshinagar MLA seeks more protection
After CCB named former Mayor R Sampath Raj as a conspirator in the violence, Pulakeshinagar MLA Akhanda Srinivasmurthy said he plans to approach the state government for more protection. “I might need more protection. I will discuss this with our party leaders and approach the CM or Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai for the same,” he added. 

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