Bengaluru, February 20: Ruling Congress MLA N A Haris on Tuesday apologised to the state legislative Assembly about his son's involvement in an assault case at an upscale pub-cum-restaurant that has stirred a huge political row. Mohammed Nalapad Haris, son of Haris, has been booked for attempt to murder for allegedly assaulting one Vidwat at the pub-cum-restaurant here on Saturday night. He surrendered before police yesterday and is now in police custody.
"Sometimes, due to some circumstances, incidents such as these happen. I tender my apologies if the incident has affected the pride of the House and honourable members," he said in the Assembly.
A red-faced Congress had expelled Nalapad from the party for six years after the incident triggered a political backlash with the BJP and JD(S) accusing the state government of trying to protect him. Nalapad was the Bengaluru District Youth Congress general secretary. To opposition BJP leader Jagadish Shettar's charge that there was a delay of 40 hours before Nalapad surrendered, Haris said he would have asked his son to surrender immediately, but could not because he was not reachable.
"He did so (surrender) after I chided him and wanted to punish him. But, when I found him, I asked him to surrender as a law-abiding member of the House," he said. Haris said he did not put any pressure on the state government.
He also tendered apologies for the attack on the media outside the Cubbon Park police station allegedly by Nalapad's supporters when came for surrender. He said nobody, including the members of the Assembly, was above law and wrongdoers must be punished, but appealed to all to stay away from political mud-slinging in the light of the upcoming Assembly elections.
Shettar asked the home minister to take measures to avoid such ugly incidents from happening at sensitive upscale restaurant-cum-pubs situated at UB City. In his reply, home minister Ramalinga Reddy said a police official has been suspended for not taking appropriate action against the accused.
Police have booked a case against Nalapad under Section 307 (attempt to murder) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Police had earlier booked Nalapad under the IPC Sections 341 (wrongful restraint), 506 (criminal intimidation), 143 and 144 (unlawful assembly), 146 and 147 (rioting), 326 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons) and 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace), he said. Police had registered an FIR regarding the attack on media persons, he said.
During the brawl, Reddy said Vidwat was assaulted and his head smashed with a liquor bottle. Nalapad and his friends had also visited the hospital where Vidwat was admitted following the incident, and threatened him, Reddy said. Vidwat is currently undergoing treatment in a private hospital.