Bengaluru, July 13: Warding off the opposition attack on his government, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Wednesday ordered a judicial inquiry into the alleged suicide by Mangaluru DSP M.K. Ganapathi on July 7.
"A retired high court judge will head the judicial commission to investigate the Ganapathi case and submit a report within six months," a defiant Siddaramaiah said in the assembly, intervening in the heated debate that rocked both the houses of the state legislature since Monday during its 20-day monsoon session here.
Rejecting the opposition parties' demand for a CBI probe, Siddaramaiah said the circumstances under which Ganapathi committed suicide did not warrant an inquiry by the premier investigation agency but by the state CID.
"Though the state CID (Criminal Investigation Department) has been conducting the probe since July 9, I am sure a judicial inquiry will also find out what forced Ganapathi to take his own life in unusual circumstances," Siddaramaiah told the lawmakers of the opposition BJP and Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S).
Refusing to budge from their tough stand, the opposition members decided to stage a night-long demonstration in the state legislature (Vidhan Soudha) till the government relented and former Home Minister K.J. George resigned for abetting Ganapathi's suicide and as he was named in an interview the DSP gave to a local news channel on that fateful day.
"We don't trust this Congress government as it has been protecting George and shielding the two IPS officers Ganapathi had named in the same interview for harassing him. George should resign till the inquiry is completed," opposition leader and former BJP Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar told reporters later.
The opposition parties also reiterated that the two IPS officers whom Ganapathi named in the same interview should be suspended till the inquiry was completed.
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 the Congress' state unit president G. Parameshwara replaced him.
The 51-year-old deputy superintendent of police (DSP) was found hanging by rope from a ceiling fan in a lodge room at Madikeri in Kodagu district, about 260km from Bengaluru in the old Mysuru region.
Based on preliminary investigation, the Chief Minister said there was no evidence of harassment of the late officer by the trio (George, Prasad and Mohanty).
"As per the service records, Ganapathi never worked under Mohanty, and George had, in fact, approved the late officer's promotion to DSP post during his tenure as Home Minister," Siddaramaiah recalled.