Bangalore: CoD to probe three cases

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Bengaluru, Oct 22: The State Government on Tuesday, Oct 21 ordered Corps of Detectives (CoD) inquiries into three incidents: the fire at St. Anthony's Church at Yadavanahalli on the outskirts of Bangalore; the death of a farmer from a stray bullet from the police firing range in Hoskote; and killing of two persons allegedly by naxalites in Udupi district.

The State Government has also decided to form a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to look into the Rs. 10-crore rice scam, which occurred way back in Mangalore in 2004, during the S M Krishna regime.

Speaking to presspersons here on Tuesday, Oct 21 Minister for Home V S Acharya said the State Government had decided to conduct the Corps of Detectives probe into the fire incident at St. Anthony"s Church at Yadavanahalli under Attibele police station limits on the outskirts of Bangalore, on October 13.

While the church authorities said that the fire was set off by anti-social elements, the police said the fire was caused by an electric short-circuit. Copies of the Bible and musical instruments were destroyed in the church fire.

Dr. Acharya said the Government had decided to conduct the CoD probe into the fire incident at the church. "We have nothing to hide, the probe will reveal the truth," he said.

The Government has already ordered a judicial probe into last month"s attacks on churches and prayer halls and the consequent violence in the State.

Former judge of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh High Courts, B K Somashekhara, was conducting the judicial probe. The commission has been given three months to complete its findings.

The Opposition had been insisting on a judicial probe into the fire incident. Christian groups and political parties had condemned the incident and alleged that it was the handiwork of Hindu outfits.

The Government has also ordered a CoD probe into the death of a farmer, Subbanna (52), a resident of Solur, who was killed after a stray bullet hit him near the Police Training Centre at Haralur, near Hoskote last week.

Recruits of the Karnataka State Reserve Police were being trained in rifle shooting when the incident occurred.

The Corps of Detectives probe was also ordered into the killing of two persons, allegedly by naxalites, at Sitanadi village in Udupi district, on May 15, 2008.

The victims, Bhoja Shetty and Suresh Shetty, were returning home on a motorcycle after a shopping trip, when the suspected naxalites opened fire at them. While Bhoja was a teacher, Suresh was an agriculturist.

The Government has also decided to set up a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the alleged diversion of 17,000 tonnes of rice received by the State under the Food for Work programme of the Centre.

The CoD, which investigated the scam filed 'B' report (no case report) before the Chief Judicial Magistrate in Mangalore last year, and the session court, set aside the report, Dr. Acharya said.

The session court in April last year had asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to probe the issue, but the CBI declined to conduct the probe citing “resource crunch" as the reason, Dr. Acharya said.

Out of a total of 14.5 lakh tonnes that was allotted to the State under the Sampoorna Grameen Rozgar Yojana (SGRY), about 17,000 tonnes of rice were diverted illegally.

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