Bengaluru: A local court remanded P. Naveen, accused of posting derogatory material on social media, to judicial custody for further investigation following the riots in Bengaluru last week, police said on Tuesday.
"As Naveen's interrogation in our (police) custody was completed on his derogatory post on social media which triggered the riots on August 11 in the city's eastern suburb, he has been remanded to judicial custody pending further investigation in the case booked against him," Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) for Bengaluru East, S.D. Sharanappa told IANS here.
Naveen has been lodged in the central jail on the city's southern outskirts.
Naveen, 26, is the nephew of Congress legislator Akhanda Srinivasa Murthy from the Pulakeshinagar Assembly (reserved) segment in the eastern suburbs whose house was burnt by an unruly mob in protest against the post on Facebook.
"In the course of interrogation, Naveen admitted to having posted the derogatory remark after denying earlier and claiming that his Facebook account was hacked when he was arrested on August 12," Sharanappa said.
On a complaint against the social media post, the police booked Naveen under the cybercrime law and asked him to hand over his mobile handset for investigation, as he had reportedly exchanged a number of controversial posts on the WhatsApp platform with a couple of Socialist Democratic Party of India (SDPI) activists during the last 2 weeks.
The opposition Congress claimed that the inordinate delay in acting against Naveen by the local police even after a complaint was filed against him for the derogatory post, led to protests and mob violence in which several vehicles were burnt and public property destroyed.
"Had the police acted swiftly by arresting Naveen soon after a complaint was lodged against him in the DJ Halli police station by the aggrieved party, mob violence, arson and rioting would not have occurred and three lives would have been saved," Congress spokesman M.A. Saleem told IANS here.
When caning and teargas shelling failed to control the mob from attacking the police station, the police resorted to firing in which three youths from the area died.
"Though Naveen is related to Murthy, he is a BJP supporter, as evident from a post on his Facebook account in which he claimed to have voted for the BJP in the May 2019 Lok Sabha elections," recalled Saleem.
Besides investigating Naveen's political leanings, the police are also looking into his call records and posts on his social media accounts like Whatsapp to ascertain if he was acting alone or with others.
In all, about 346 accused, including some members of the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI), have been arrested so far for their alleged involvement in the violence, arson, looting and destruction of public property.