Civil society forms fact-finding committee to probe riots

A coalition of civil society organisations in the city have formed a 23-member fact-finding committee to probe into the violence at D.J. Halli on the night of August 11, which was triggered after an MLA’s nephew put up a derogatory social media post against Islam.

In a statement, the committee said amid police investigation, media narratives, and political slugfest, citizens have a need to establish the facts of the case, in which it seeks to play a key role. The committee will meet affected families, residents of the area, police officials, mediapersons who were attacked, and all others concerned, the statement said.

The terms of reference the committee has set for itself includes not just probing the sequence of events of the violence, but also efforts by all authorities concerned, including Facebook, where the provocative post was posted, the police, elected representatives of the area, and the media to prevent and later control the violence. The committee will also look into the police response, whether firing that killed three youths and left three others injured, was justified.

The 23-member panel includes child rights activist Neena Nayak; independent journalist Cynthia Stephen; Dalit leaders V. Nagaraj, Mohanraj, and Hebbal Venkatesh; Leo Saldanha from the Environment Support Group; activists Geeta Menon and Madhu Bhushan; and Irshad Ahmed Desai and Tanveer Ahmed from the Movement for Justice. This is the fourth fact-finding committee, after those formed by the Congress, the BJP, and another by a group called Citizens for Democracy.

Anybody who has any specific information on the riots and related matters, may send a WhatsApp message to 8277288204 or write to [email protected], said the release.

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