MLAs' poaching case: SIT notices to Kerala doctor

by IANS |

Hyderabad, Nov 18 (IANS) The Special Investigation Team (SIT) of Telangana police probing the sensational MLAs' poaching case has summoned Kerala doctor Jaggu Swami and BDJS president Tushar Vellapally for questioning.

Jaggu Kottilil, alias Jaggu Swami, is working in Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences in Kochi while Tushar Vellapally is president of Bharath Dharma Jana Sena (BDJS) president.

They have been asked to appear before SIT for questioning for their alleged links with the three accused arrested in the case last month, sources said.

Stepping up the investigation into the case, the SIT has served notices to the two men from Kerala under Section 41A of the Criminal Procedure Code. The duo has been directed to appear before SIT at the Police Command and Control Centre in Hyderabad on November 21.

A team, led by Nalgonda district superintendent of police Rema Rajeshwari, a member of SIT, served the notices after its investigation in Kerala during the last five days.

The team served notice at Tushar's house in Alappuzha. Tushar, whose BDJS is an ally of BJP in Kerala, was not home.

The name of Tushar, who had contested the 2019 Lok Sabha election from Wayanad against Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, figured in the conversation the three accused had with four MLAs of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) while trying to lure them to defect.

The notice was pasted at the office and house of Jaggu Swami, who is reported to be absconding. The police team was in Kerala to question him as Ramachandra Bharati, the main accused, reportedly confessed that Jaggu Swami was linked to the cash that was promised to the TRS MLAs as inducement.

The police team did not find Jaggu but reportedly seized some incriminating material from his house and office. The officials also questioned his three associates.

SIT has also served a notice to Bhusarapu Srinivas, a lwyer from Karimnagar, who is said to be a distant relative of Telangana BJP president Bandi Sanjay. The investigating team has directed him to appear for questioning on November 21.

Srinivas had allegedly funded the flight expenses for Simhayaji, one of the three accused.

The CrPC Section 41 notice to the advocate said that the officials have "reasonable grounds to question him to ascertain facts and circumstances in relation to the investigation," and asked him to appear before the officials.

The advocate was also asked to bring his mobile without tampering or deleting information from the device for his questioning, along with other electronic devices he holds, including laptop, tablet etc.

Ramachandra Bharati, alias Satish Sharma, Simhayaji and Nandakumar were arrested by the Cyberabad police from a farmhouse at Moinabad near Hyderabad on the night of October 26 when they were allegedly trying to lure four MLAs of TRS with offers of huge money.

Cyberabad police conducted the raid on a tip-off by Pilot Rohit Reddy, one of the MLAs. He alleged that the accused offered Rs 100 crore to him and Rs 50 crore each to three others.

The accused were booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Prevention of Corruption Act.

Telangana High Court on Tuesday rejected the BJP plea to handover MLAs' poaching case to the CBI but made the SIT independent.

The court also ruled that a single judge will monitor the investigation into the case.

It asked the SIT to submit a report to the court on November 29 on the progress of the investigation.

On November 9, the state government constituted SIT to probe the case. Headed by Hyderabad police commissioner, it includes six other police officers.

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