Akhanda Srinivasa Murthy, whose house was torched by rioters while the family was away, has appealed for peace

Two-time MLA R. Akhanda Srinivasa Murthy of the Congress, whose house at Kaval Byrasandra in D.J. Halli police station limits was set on fire on Tuesday night, has appealed for peace and said there had been no incident of this nature in the last 25 years in the locality.

“There are many minority community families in my constituency. We have been living together as brothers and sisters. There was not a single untoward incident in the past 25 years in the constituency,” said the MLA.

His house was set on fire when and he and his family members were away. The rioters carried machetes and petrol bombs and looted jewellery, documents, and all other material at home, he said. “Not even pillows were spared in my house,” the MLA representing the reserved Pulakeshinagar constituency in the city said on Wednesday. Fire tenders were not able to reach the spot on time because of the large crowd on the road.

“I have been living in that house for the past 50 years. I was born and raised in that house. Even my brother’s house was burnt. Where do we go now? What protection do I have as an MLA?” he said, and appealed to the government to provide protection to him and his family members.

After meeting with Revenue Minister R. Ashok, the Congress MLA requested the government to order an inquiry either by the CBI or the CID. “I have faith that people of my constituency could not have done this. Whoever has done this, maybe they are from outside,” he said. The MLA said he did not doubt anyone in particular and that only an inquiry would throw more light on the incidents. “This was done to spoil my name and image,” said the MLA, who quit the JD(S) and joined the Congress on the eve of the 2018 Assembly elections.

‘Not in touch with Naveen’

Mr. Murthy on Wednesday said his family had for long been estranged from his nephew P. Naveen Kumar, whose inflammatory social media posts are said to be the trigger for violence on Tuesday. “Naveen is my sister’s son. We are not in touch with him. We have not been in touch for at least 10 years,” he said.

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