Karnataka Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Tuesday termed the arrest of Congress leader and former Bengaluru Mayor Sampath Raj in the Bengaluru violence case as a major development that will lead to “exposure of the conspiracy and people behind it”.

“He was accused and was absconding. Had he been innocent, he would not have absconded. We have caught him. There will be a further probe. His arrest is a major development that will lead to exposure of the conspiracy and people behind it (Bengaluru violence),” said Basavaraj Bommai, Karnataka Minister

Sampath Raj was brought to the Central Crime Branch’s (CCB) office in Bengaluru after being arrested earlier in the day in connection with the DJ Halli and KG Halli violence case, police said. Raj had gone missing on October 31 after authorities at a Bengaluru hospital, where he was admitted for COVID-19 treatment, allegedly discharged him without informing the police.

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Earlier, his lawyer had alleged political vendetta behind the chargesheet filed against him in the Bengaluru violence case and said that the chargesheet had no material to prove any of the charges invoked in the matter.

The CCB had last week filed a preliminary chargesheet in the August 11 violence that took place in Bengaluru, naming Congress corporators AR Zakir and Sampath Raj as accused.

Violence had broken out in parts of Bengaluru on August 11 over an alleged “derogatory” social media post. At least three people lost their lives, while nearly 60 police personnel were injured in the incident. The police arrested around 415 accused in connection with the violence.

An FIR was registered on the complaint of Congress MLA Akhanda Srinivas Murthy at DJ Halli Police station three days after the violence broke out in parts of Bengaluru over an alleged “derogatory” social media post by his nephew, the police said.

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