The Karnataka High Court on Friday directed the Central Crime Branch of Bengaluru police to take all necessary steps to ensure the arrest of former Bengaluru Mayor Sampath Raj in connection with the DJ Halli riot case. The HC has asked the investigating officer in the case to file a report listing all the steps taken to trace the absconding accused in a sealed envelope on the next date of hearing in a case which has been fixed on November 25.
A Division Bench of Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Vishwajith Shetty passed this direction after it was informed that Raj, against whom a non-bailable warrant has been issued, is on the run.
The background is that on August 11, a violent mob had partially burnt two police stations of KG Halli and DJ Halli, torched multiple vehicles and damaged the house of local MLA Akhanda Srinivas Murthy. The mob had gathered after the police had refused to file an FIR against Naveen, nephew of the MLA who had allegedly put up a provocative and communally-charged social media post. Sampath Raj, who is a sitting Congress Corporator, has been accused of instigating the mob.