Karnataka BJP MLA ticket scam: Court remands seer to 10-day police custody

by IANS |

Bengaluru, Sep 20 (IANS) A court here on Wednesday remanded the accused seer Abhinava Halasri of Halaswamy Mutt in Hire Hadagali to 10-day police custody.

The seer was produced before the Additional City Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) court, which adjourned the petition, moved by the seer seeking bail, to September 29.

On Monday (September 18), the City Central Crime Branch (CCB) police had nabbed the seer who had allegedly received Rs 1.5 crore from an industrialist to get a BJP MLA ticket to contest elections. Main accused Chaitra Kundapura, a Hindu activist, who was arrested on September 12, had stated that once the seer is arrested, the names of big fish will come out in the scandal.

The CCB sleuths had arrested the seer 10 days after lodging the complaint and the delay raised many questions. The CCB sleuths has already started grilling him over investments in agricultural land and a petrol bunk.

Meanwhile, Congress spokesperson from Mysuru, M. Laxman, has alleged that he had got exact inputs on the scam amounting to Rs 185 crore. Seventeen ticket aspirants have been cheated by Chaitra Kundapura. She got tickets for 23 people and made money.

He further alleged that Chaitra Kundapura had direct connections with BJP top leadership and it should be probed. “We are taking a delegation to CM Siddaramaiah in this regard and he will be appealed to give directions for a comprehensive probe of the scam,” he maintained. BJP had given tickets to 72 new faces in the recently concluded assembly elections and faced humiliating defeat. 

The sleuths of a special wing of Karnataka City Central Crime Branch (CCB) arrested the absconding religious seer, Abhinava Halasri, in connection with BJP MLA ticket scam, from the Cuttack city of Odisha.

According to police, the seer was arrested when he was travelling in a train to Bodh Gaya from Bhubaneswar city, with the help of local police.   

Halasri is accused of receiving Rs 1.5 crore bribe from an industrialist Govind Babu Poojari promising him a BJP MLA ticket from Bainduru assembly constituency in Dakshina Kannada district. He allegedly formed a gang with prime accused Chaitra Kundapura in the scam.

Sources said that Halasri was wearing a t-shirt and travelling as a normal man in the train by shunning the saffron dress. He had disappeared following the arrest of Kundapura. The complaint was filed by the victim on September 8. The seer was attending a meeting when Kundapura was arrested in Udupi and hence he left the programme and went into hiding. He was planning to reach Kashi, sources said. He had gone to Hyderabad, Farooqabad, Puri and Konark.

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