Bengaluru: Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Saturday refuted the opposition’s charge that law and order had broken down, saying life was peaceful and normalcy prevailed across the state.
“Unfortunately, the opposition parties are terming suicides by two police officers last week as a breakdown of law and order. There were more suicides by officials, including policemen in the state between 2003-2013 when they were in power,” Siddaramaiah told reporters at an interaction, organised by the Karnataka Media Academy here.
Denying that Chikkamagaluru Deputy Superintendent of Police Kalappa Handibagh and Mangaluru DSP M.K. Ganapathi had committed suicide due to harassment by their seniors, Siddaramaiah said as both the cases were being investigated, he would wait for the inquiry reports before commenting.
“Reasons behind their suicides are a matter of investigation. To say they took life for want of protection or due to harassment is wrong as there is a mechanism to address grievances and look into complaints, if any, against their higher ups,” he said.
Handibagh, 34, hanged himself at his in-laws’ house on July 5 at Belagavi, a day after a complaint was filed at Chikkamagaluru for allegedly colluding to abduct a financer and taking Rs 10 lakh ransom for his release.
Ganapathi, 51, was found hanging in a lodge room on July 8 at Madikeri in Kodagau district, hours after he gave an interview to a local news channel, accusing former state Home Minister K.J. George and two IPS officers of harassing him and that they would be responsible should anything happen to him.
Quoting from the National Crime Records Bureau of the Union Home Ministry on the number of suicides by officials when BJP (2008-13) and JD-S (2006-07) was ruling in the state, Siddaramaiah said both the parties had no moral right to blame the ruling Congress or disrupt the monsoon session of the legislature for the minister’s resignation or suspension of the IPS officers.
“There is no evidence against George or the IPS officers of harassing the DSP, as he did not work under them directly or reported to them before his promotion. I have ordered a judicial probe into his case for impartial and fair inquiry, as the opposition does not want the state CID to investigate it,” Siddaramaiah reiterated.
The two IPS officers are Additional Director General of Police (Intelligence) A.M. Prasad and Lokayukta (Ombudsman) Inspector General of Police Pronab Mohanty.
George was the home minister till October 31, 2015 before he was made Bengaluru Development Minister and Congress state unit president G. Parameshwara replaced him.
Protests and disruptions by the opposition lawmakers forced the assembly speaker and council chairman to adjourn the houses almost daily since July 11.