The Bengaluru police on Thursday arrested six Social Democratic Party of India activists in connection with the attempted murder of a BJP cadre. 31-year-old BJP cadre Varun Bhoopalam was attacked with machetes and knives while he was returning from a pro-Citizenship Amendment Act gathering at Town Hall on December 22.
Investigating officials say that the six SDPI activists were allegedly hired as hitmen to stab one of two prominent personalities, who took part at the gathering on December 22. The arrested include Mohammed Ishan (33), Syed Akbar (46), Syed Siddique Akbar (30), Akbar Basha (27), Sanaullah Pasha (28) and Sadiq-ul-Ameen (39).
DCP West B Ramesh said that the police suspect the men were allegedly asked to kill either BJP MP from Bengaluru South Tejasvi Surya or Yuva Brigade founder Chakravarthy Sulibele.
Both Tejasvi Surya and Sulibele had taken part in the pro-CAA gathering on December 22. The BJP MP was also criticized for his speech at the gathering where he calle anti-CAA protesters mechanics and punchturewalas.
DCP Ramesh says that the suspects initially tried to attack one of the two personalities but were deterred as there was heavy police presence at the venue.
“DCP Central Chetan Singh Rathore, local police inspectors, the CRPF and police personnel were present at the gathering. They were unable to carry out the attack because of this,” DCP Ramesh said.
The men then saw Varun Bhoopalam at the gathering, wearing a BJP sash around his shoulders; distributing pamphlets, placards and water to the people at there. “He also addressed the gathering. These men thought he was a prominent person in the BJP unit and decided to attack him,” DCP Ramesh said.
Investigators allege that each of the six accused were paid Rs 10,000 each by unidentified handlers to carry out the attack. Police say that the bike-borne assailants had waylaid Varun, who was riding a Bounce two-wheeler near Kalasipalya and had attacked him with machetes and knives. Varun sustained injuries on his head, neck and back. He was admitted to Victoria Hospital and has recovered from his injuries.
Police say that the group of men wore three layers of clothing and after the attack, removed two of the T-shirts and burnt it on the side of the road near Kalasipalya. Police say that they were also wearing helmets to avoid being identified.
“After the attack, they threw the machetes and knives into the Anchepalya Lake. They disposed the helmets they were wearing in Ramamurthy Nagar and threw their shoes into the primary storm water drain in Banaswadi. They also left their two-wheelers in Banaswadi. The vehicles’ license plates were blackened as well,” the police said.
The six accused were produced in court on Friday and have been remanded to police custody till January 20. The case has now been transferred to the Anti-Terrorism Cell. “Investigation is still on and we are trying to find out who hatched the conspiracy,” DCP Ramesh said.