Confirming this, Special Prosecutor Prasanna Kumar said, “Now is the time to formulate the charges. Indictments against 247 defendants have been filed at the special court.
Violence erupted on the night of August 11, 2020 with protesters in large numbers besieging DH Halli and KG Halli police stations and engaging in vandalism. The protest had started the same afternoon after a local politician’s nephew allegedly posted a defamatory message on social media, hurting religious feelings. Vehicles parked in front of police stations and nearby roads were torched by angry mobs. More than 480 people have been arrested in connection with the riots.
According to Kumar, the case is different from others handled by the NIA. “Till date, the NIA has taken a total of 12 cases, including DJ Halli-KG Halli violence. trafficking in counterfeit notes, the Church Street bombing, etc. In these cases, the accused had no individual targets. They were aimed at terrorizing society and people. But in the case of violence of DJ Halli and KG Halli, the accused targeted police personnel and government property We will discuss how the plot was hatched to target cops and police stations,” he said.
Kumar is confident to secure convictions for many defendants as they were arrested under the Unlawful Assembly Prevention Act (UAPA), in addition to IPC sections like 120B (criminal conspiracy), 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and does acts detrimental to the maintenance of harmony) and 307 (attempted murder).
So what were the challenges cops faced in charging the 247 defendants? According to a senior IPS officer, identifying the suspects, separating their roles in the violence and collecting technical and digital data to establish their involvement were difficult tasks. “We managed to identify the accused among the crowd that had passed more than 1,000 people. Also, we managed to identify the offenses in which they were engaged. But the collection of technical and numerical data was more difficult. took longer,” he said.