Fact-finding committee by civil group says cops failed to act on time

A second fact-finding committee on the violent mob attacks in eastern Bengaluru on August 11 found that there is a lack of substantial evidence to call the incident communal and stated that the police failed to act expeditiously when they were approached with a complaint.

The report was prepared by a team of members from civil society organisations in Bengaluru including Nina Nayak, former chairperson of the Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, independent journalist Cynthia Stephen and 21 others.

“There is a lack of substantial evidence to suggest that the mob violence was communal in nature, in that it specifically targeted the Hindu community or that it was premeditated and pre-planned,” stated the report.

The report released on Wednesday stated that the rioters in the violent incidents did not specifically target Hindu residences. “It  is accepted  by  various groups that Muslim youth  assisted in the protection of Hindu and Christian  families and the homes and vehicles  of  Hindus. They formed human chains outside the Hanuman temple as also the police station to keep away the mob. In Kaval Byrasandra, a property belonging to a Muslim was vandalised and damaged while vehicles of Muslims were also burnt regarding which they have filed police complaints,” stated the report.

However, it added that, “While some individuals and houses of Hindus were randomly targeted, it was felt that this moment was used to seek personal vendetta on some families and not communal in nature. Many Hindu families whose houses were vandalised shared that it was  the local  Muslim families who also helped protect their property.”

The report also highlighted that police inaction led to the crowds swelling and the subsequent mob attacks. “Not only did the police fail to act expeditiously and effectively on the post when  small delegations approached the police station, but they also failed to intervene in effective ways in preventing the violence from escalating in DJ Halli, KG Halli and Kaval Byrasandra,” stated the report.

The report released on Wednesday called for the charges under the UAPA to be withdrawn. “There must be an enquiry conducted into the arrest of persons, to ensure that all innocent persons are immediately released. The families of the accused persons must be informed regarding the cases against them and their whereabouts,” read the report.

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