Ruckus in Karnataka legislature over cop’s suicide

Bengaluru, July 11 (IANS) Ruckus prevailed in the Karnataka legislature on Monday as opposition lawmakers sought former Home Minister K.J. George’s resignation and suspension of two IPS officers with regard to an alleged suicide by a DSP on July 8.

George and two Indian Police Officers were named by Mangaluru Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) M.K. Ganapathi, 51, in an interview hours before the latter was found hanging in a lodge at Madikeri in Kodagu district, about 260 km from here. Ganapathi had blamed the trio for harassing him and forcing to take his own life.

Soon after the proceedings of the monsoon session of the assembly and council resumed, opposition Bharatiya Janata Party and Janata Dal-Secular members sought a discussion on the issue.

In the assembly, Speaker K.B Koliwad adjourned the house till afternoon when the opposition lawmakers rushed to the well of the House, holding placards and protesting against Home Minister G. Parameshwara for making a suo motu statement even before the discussion had begun on the matter.

“How can he (Parameshwara) make a statement when the House was not in order and before we could discuss the incident in the House. The Speaker should disallow the minister’s statement,” BJP leader Jagadish Shetter told Koliwad.

Accusing the state government of a ‘cover-up’ by ordering the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to probe the case instead of giving it to the CBI as demanded by Ganpathi’s family, Shettar said the ruling Congress was trying to protect the trio.

Ganapathi’s body was found hanging with a rope from a ceiling fan in the room of a lodge in the hill town hours after he told a local news channel that George and Additional Director General of Police (ADGP-Intelligence) A.M. Prasad and Lokayukta (Ombudsman) Inspector General of Police (IGP) Pronab Mohanty had harassed him and exploited him since he was posted at Mangaluru two years ago.

George was the Home Minister till October 31, 2015, before he was made Bengaluru Development Minister and Paremshwara replaced him.

“By making a statement even before the discussion, the government has shown how serious or concerned it is about the unnatural death of a police officer, second in the week after a DSP (Kalappa Handibag) committed suicide on July 5 at Belagavi for some other reason. We will not allow the House to function till George resigns or the Chief Minister sacks him,” Shettar said.

Amid the din, Parameshwara said Ganapathi’s father Kushalappa had told the CID probe team that his son was under depression due to family issues.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said it was unfortunate that such an incident happened in the state.

“We have nothing to hide or protect anyone. The CID is investigating since Friday and action will be taken against the guilty, if any, as per the law. Till then, the opposition should allow the assembly to function,” Siddaramaiah said after Parameshwara made the statement.

In the legislative council, opposition leader and BJP lawmaker K. Eshwarappa said George should resign till a probe was done by the Central Bureau of Investigation as the CID functioning under the state will not do justice to Ganapathi’s family.

JD-S leader H.D. Kumaraswamy urged the Chief Minister to sack George and suspend the two IPS officers till an inquiry found what drove Ganapathi to take his won life and why he named them.

–IANS

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