Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on Monday announced that the state government will assess damages caused in the violent mob attacks in Bengaluru last week and recover the cost from the culprits. The state government is set to approach the Karnataka High Court to appoint a Claims Commissioner to carry out this task. 

The decision was taken following a meeting chaired by Yediyurappa on Monday. Senior police and IAS officers briefed the Chief Minister about the investigation into the August 11 violent mob attacks on two police stations and the residence of Congress MLA Akhand Srinivas Murthy in the Banaswadi sub-division in eastern Bengaluru. 

“Stringent action has been initiated against the culprits of DJ Halli and KG Halli violent incidents including invoking the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) Act,” Yediyurappa said in a tweet. 

A Special Investigation Team was formed to conduct a detailed investigation into the violence and the SIT will consider invoking the Goondas Act if warranted, Yediyurappa said. A team of three special public prosecutors will be appointed for conducting the cases. 

Local residents in Banaswadi sub-division have alleged that the police have picked up a large number of Muslim youth without verifying whether they were part of the mob. 

Bengaluru police have so far arrested over 200 people in connection with the violent mob attacks.  Around 80 accused persons were shifted to Ballari while the others have been detained in locations in Bengaluru. “We are reviewing the footage and zeroing in on the suspects. We have taken footage from the media, social media and those shot by our officers,” SD Sharanappa, Bengaluru (East) DCP told TNM. 

Those arrested so far include Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) leaders such as its Bengaluru district president Muzammil Pasha and Kaleem Pasha, who is the husband of a Congress corporator Irshad Begum.

The violent mob attacks were triggered by a Facebook comment posted by Naveen P, a relative of Congress MLA R Akhand Srinivas Murthy, which was found offensive by Muslims. The violence began on August 11 night and was quelled only in the early hours of Wednesday morning after police opened fire against the mob.  

A curfew has been in place since the violence died down in the Banaswadi sub-division in the city. Heavy police and paramilitary forces are also in place in the area. 

Following the incident, BJP leaders Tejasvi Surya and CT Ravi had called for the seizure of the properties of rioters involved in the mob attack.

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