J C Madhuswamy
J C Madhuswamy

The Karnataka Government has initiated moves to ban the Popular Front of India (PFI) and its political wing, Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI), over their alleged involvement in the Bengaluru riots and some other violent incidents of the past.

The cabinet on Thursday agreed in principle to ban the two organisations after seeking legal opinion.

“The cabinet discussed the riots and the alleged role of the groups in question. But we did not take any specific decision as there was no report or recommendation from police to take a call. We will certainly act against them after getting a report from police,” said law and parliamentary affairs minister J C Madhuswamy.

The minister said the state was exploring all legal options to initiate action against SDPI, PFI and those accused of damaging public and private property on August 11 in East Bengaluru. “We are checking if provisions of the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act are sufficient enough to hand out punishment to the culprits and make them pay for losses they caused. If necessary, the government will even amend the act and ensure that losses are compensated,” he said.

Sources said the government is also studying a law enacted by Uttar Pradesh which is more stringent in terms of recovery of damages.

Meanwhile, sources said the NIA will join the probe into the riots that took place in Bengaluru.

The police investigation team has claimed that 40 suspects held in connection with the violence have links with the accused arrested in earlier cases being investigated by the NIA.

“Since there is a link to terror cases and those that we investigated and chargesheeted, NIA will join police in probing this case. Further, invoking Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act will technically bring NIA into the investigation,” an NIA officer was quoted in the media.

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