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B'luru violence: NIA takes over probe

New Delhi: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has taken over the probe in the August violence in Bengaluru, which was triggered by a derogatory Facebook post on Prophet Muhammad allegedly by the nephew of a Congress MLA, officials said on

Tuesday.

The central agency has re-registered two separate first information reports under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and Indian Penal Code sections related to arson, violence and destruction of public

property.

The case was earlier being probed by the Bengaluru Police, they said.

The Union Home Ministry has handed over the case to the NIA, the officials said.

The agency has dispatched a team under an inspector general-rank officer to probe the violence case and it is in Bengaluru.

An NIA spokesperson said, "A brief background of the incidents is that on August 11, 2020, around 8:00 pm, more than 1,000 people gathered in front of the house of Congress MLA Akhanda Srinivas Murthy (Pulakeshi Nagar constituency) at Kavalbyrasandra, Bengaluru city."

"The mob was protesting against the derogatory social media (Facebook) post about Prophet Muhammad made on August 11, 2020, around 4 pm by Naveen, the nephew of the MLA, allegedly insulting the religious sentiments of Muslims," the official

said.

The spokesperson said it is alleged that the state secretary of the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI), Muzammil Pasha, had earlier called a meeting and directed members of the Popular Front of India (PFI) and the SDPI to instigate the mob and incite

violence.

"The mob went on rampage in DJ Halli, KG Halli and Pulakeshi Nagar areas under Bengaluru city. They attacked two police stations namely D J Halli PS and K G Halli PS and vandalised property of the police stations, including government and private vehicles, parked inside the police stations," the official

said.

During the violence, Murthy's house also came under attack, the NIA said.

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