Bengaluru Youth Congress leader expelled on assault charge

Bengaluru, Feb 18: Bengaluru city Youth Congress General Secretary Mohammad Haris Nalapad was on Sunday expelled from the ruling party after he allegedly assaulted a young man at a city cafe.

"Nalapad has been expelled from the Congress for six years. Atrocities in any form is not tolerated in @INC Karnataka," tweeted party's state unit President G. Parameshwara.

Nalapad, 24, is the son of Congress MLA N.A. Haris from Shantinagar seat in Bengaluru central.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah also tweeted: "Offenders should be punished to the full extent, regardless of who they are. No less. No more."

On a complaint by victim Vidvat's friend V. Praveen, police registered an assault case against Nalapad and five of his friends for thrashing the 24-year-old in Fergy Cafe at the upscale UB City Mall following a verbal duel on Saturday night.

"Vidvat was dining along with Praveen when Nalapad objected to him resting his fractured leg on a chair at the adjacent table. When Vidvat told Nalapad to mind his business, the latter along with his friends thrashed him," Cubbon Park Inspector Vijaya Hadagalli told IANS.

Praveed took a bleeding Vidvat to a nearby private hospital for treatment, as he was punched in the face and chest and ended up with a broken nose.

"Legal action has been taken against those responsible. The victim will be served justice," said Parameshwara in the tweet.

The swift action against Nalapad is seen as an attempt to minimise political damage to the ruling Congress in the Assembly polls due in late April or early May.

The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) condemned the attack and staged demonstration at the police station, seeking the arrest of Nalapad and his friends.

"I am appalled at, and condemn, the ghastly attack by MLA N.A. Haris' son on innocent Vidvat. @CPBlr Police must arrest the culprit and his goons to restore public confidence in the rule of law. Congress MLA must counsel his absconding son to surrender," BJP state unit President and former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa tweeted.