The three accused persons, who attacked Bhartiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Singh Tikait, have taken a u-turn and claimed that they attacked him for not speaking in Kannada, police sources said on Thursday.
The police also said that they were probing the statements of the accused.
Tikait was attacked and assaulted with black paint while addressing a press conference at Gandhi Bhavan in Bengaluru on Monday.
The police had arrested three persons — Bharath Shetty, the President of Bharatha Rakshana Vedike, Shivakumar and Pradeep.
The accused had taken the name of Prime Minister Narendra Modi while carrying out the attack and while being taken away by the police. The investigating officers are seeing the development as a premeditated act. “The accused’s statement is misleading and they will be investigated further,” said police sources.
The police have taken the accused persons on a 6-day remand. The investigations have also revealed the past crime history of the accused persons.
Shivakumar had barged on the platform and attacked Rakesh Tikait and later tried to attack other farm leaders also. Investigations have shown that Shivakumar was an accused in a murder case and is convicted for life imprisonment.
He got released for good conduct in 2015. After the release, he was active in an organisation with his sister and took part in many protests. The police are investigating his involvement in other crimes.
Another accused Pradeep is a cab driver. He had poured black paint on Rakesh Tikait and others. The police have also launched a hunt for women who were seen with the accused during the event on that day. Police said that all of them have disappeared after the incident.
Tikait was attending a press conference on “Raita Chaluvali, Aatmavalokana haagu Spasteekarana Sabhe” (Farmer’s Movement, Introspection and Clarification Meeting) organized by Karnataka State Farmers Association and Hasiru Sene.
The Congress has described the incident as a black mark on the state.