Did Sampath Raj surrender after all doors closed?

Did Sampath Raj surrender after all doors closed on him?

Former mayor R Sampath Raj, arrested by the CCB on Monday night in the riots case, reportedly surrendered himself after having run out of options to escape

Former mayor R Sampath Raj (centre) after his arrest in Bengaluru on Tuesday. DH PHOTO/PUSHKAR V

Former mayor R Sampath Raj, arrested by the CCB on Monday night in the riots case, reportedly surrendered himself after having run out of options to escape. 

A senior officer noted that Raj is facing serious cases of arson, rioting and causing damage to public and private properties. The allegations are serious given that he is a people’s representative.

CCB sources said they resisted political pressure to continue searching for Raj. After getting discharged from a private hospital in Hebbal on October 14, Raj tried everything possible to stay out of jail, including moving the court to quash the FIR against him and seeking anticipatory bail. The court turned down his pleas. 

After receiving information that Raj is planning to escape to Sri Lanka, the CCB issued a lookout notice on him. The officials and the public prosecutor produced sufficient evidence before the court.

On November 7, cops nabbed Raj’s aide Riyazuddin, who drove Raj and former corporator Abdul Rakib Zakir to a Nagarahole farmhouse and sheltered them. Police also questioned Raj’s family after searching their residences. Police said Raj did not use his mobile phone and spoke to the advocate and family through his aide. 

Raj is an accused in the case filed by Congress MLA, R Akhanda Srinivas Murthy, over the torching his house. Though officials questioned him twice, he tested positive for Covid-19 and got himself admitted to hospital before they could arrest him. Police seized his phone and retrieved call detail record and other evidence. They must now question him further and take him for mahazar and other formalities. 

CCB sources said Raj was misguided by his advocates. He reportedly told police that he escaped on assurances that he would get an anticipatory bail in the court and the FIR against him would be quashed.