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SDPI activists’ real target was MP Tejasvi Surya

BENGALURU: Police investigation and interrogation of the six accused, said to be activists of the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI), revealed a meticulous plan to target Bangalore South MP Tejasvi Surya and Chakravarthi Sulibele, founder of Yuva Brigade, who were part of the pro-CAA rally on December 22, 2019.An investigating officer told The New Indian Express that on that day, about 5.30am, the gang gathered at Coles Park and held a meeting. They decided to attack the leaders participating in the event. Around 8.30am, they again met at the same venue to plan how to reach Town Hall where the pro-CAA rally was to be held three hours later.

At 11am, they came to Town Hall and threw stones to scatter the crowd, so that they could target Surya and Sulibele, who were addressing the rally. They threw seven stones, of which one stone hit Sulibele on his leg, but he did not take it seriously. The gang grew frustrated as the stone-throwing did not have the desired effect on the crowd.

When Surya finished his speech, RSS member Varun Bhopala (34) left the crowd to meet his father at his shop on JC Road close by. As he was wearing saffron-coloured clothes, the gang decided to target him instead. The gang followed him on two-wheelers and attacked him when he was on Kumbaragundi Road, off JC Road. Varun was brutally attacked with lethal weapons with an intention to kill him, the investigator said.

Varun was immediately rushed to Victoria Hospital by passersby, who later shifted him to a private hospital, where he was treated. The gang fled to Bidadi, near Ramanagara, after the attack, the officer said. On their way to Town Hall earlier, the gang changed multiple shirts to hide their identities, and while escaping, burnt the shirts earlier worn by them. “They burnt the clothes they had worn and threw some of the weapons into Anchepalya Lake near NICE Road. After returning to the city, they threw their helmets into a lake near Hennur Road. They also changed their bikes’ registration plates repeatedly,” he said. 
The special team analysed footage from 700 CCTV cameras in and around the city to identify the accused, the officer added.

He further said that the gang had done a recce in front of Town Hall before throwing stones, but on seeing a large number of police personnel and their plan failing, they decided to kill at least one — Varun Bhopala. A special team was formed to nab the attackers, with the case being complicated and sensitive with no clues. Based on several CCTV images, police tracked down the movements of the accused and nabbed them in their houses.