Bangalore riots: Bent on recovering costs, govt seeks a claims commissioner

TNN | Updated: Aug 18, 2020, 02:52 PM IST


BENGALURU: The government will soon move the Karnataka high court, seeking permission to appoint a ‘claims commissioner’ to assess and recover damages caused to public and private property during the August 11 violence in east Bengaluru.

A decision to this effect was taken on Monday at a meeting chaired by chief minister BS Yediyurappa with home minister Basavaraj Bommai, Advocate-General Prabhuling Navadagi, and senior police officers.

“As per a Supreme Court order, the appointment of a claims commissioner by the HC is necessary for the purpose of assessing damages caused and recovery from the culprits,” Bommai said while insisting the government will recover damages from the rioters. “So, we will approach the HC soon.”

The state also decided to constitute a three-member team of special prosecutors to enable effective and speedy trial of cases pertaining to the riots, Bommai said. He said police will invoke provisions of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act where possible, besides the Goonda Act.

Bommai said legislator Akhanda Srinivasamurthy, whose house was gutted in the riots, has not named anyone in his complaint. “But we have enough evidence to conduct an inquiry into the house-burning incident,” Bommai said while appealing to Srinivasamurthy to cooperate with the police.

Rejecting the demand for a CBI or NIA investigation, Bommai said: “The state government has already ordered a magisterial inquiry. Besides, police are also investigating the case.” He said a special team led by senior IPS officer Sandeep Patil has been formed for the purpose.

On banning SDPI and PFI, the minister said the home department is currently collecting information on the involvement of these organizations in such incidents in the past. “The matter will be placed before the cabinet which will take a final call,” he said.

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Beleaguered Congress MLA Akhanda Srinivasamurthy met chief minister BS Yediyurappa on Monday and sought a CBI probe into August 11 riots besides protection for himself.

Bengaluru: Police walk past damaged vehicles vandalized by a mob over a social media post by a relative of an MLA, in Bengaluru, Wednesday morning, Aug. 12, 2020. (PTI Photo/Shailendra Bhojak)(PTI12-08-2020_000027B)

“The government has provided security for my house, but not for me,” Srinivasamurthy said. “I asked the CM to provide personal security and to also order a CBI inquiry into the riots.” He also requested the government to provide compensation to his neighbors, whose vehicles were burnt by rioters.

Incidentally, Srinivasamurthy was accompanied by BJP MLA and former minister Aravind Limbavali when he met the CM, triggering speculation that he might join BJP, but Srinivasamurthy said, “There is no question of me leaving Congress. My father was in Congress and I will also remain in Congress forever. Congress is in my blood.”

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