Karnataka CM vouches for transparent probe on contractor death; rejects resignation demand by oppn
Mangaluru, Apr 12: Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Tuesday said the police will conduct a thorough and transparent investigation into the death of a contractor, who had accused a Karnataka minister of demanding 40 per cent commission in a public work.
He also ruled out any resignations in this regard. "One thing I want to make it clear that this case will be thoroughly investigated. There will not be any interference or direction from our side. Police will independently investigate the case and truth will come out," Bommai said addressing a press conference here.
Santosh Patil from Belagavi was found dead in his room in a hotel in Udupi. He had earlier accused Karnataka Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister K S Eshwarappa of demanding 40 per cent commission on the work executed by him.
The minister not only dismissed his allegations but also filed a defamation suit against him. In his purported WhatsApp message, Patil held the minister responsible for his death. The Chief Minister added that the action will be taken based on the outcome of the investigation.
"We have given direction to the police to probe the matter systematically such as forensic science, spot inspection, inquiry and everything should be in accordance with the law. It will be an honest and transparent investigation," Bommai said.
To a query on opposition Congress party's demand for resignation over the death, Bommai said, "A police officer had committed suicide in the past when Siddaramaiah was the Chief Minister. I want to ask you, did Siddaramaiah resign."
Regarding the purported WhatsApp message claimed to be sent by Santosh Patil, Bommai said it will also be part of the investigation.
Replying to a question, Bommai said Eshwarappa had told him during the assembly session that he had filed a defamation suit against the contractor and a notice has been sent to him.
Also, a case has been registered against a media house, he added. "Eshwarappa has rejected the charge and has filed a defamation suit as well. All these will be part of investigation," Bommai said.
Condoling the death, the Chief Minister said every life is valuable. However, the investigation will reveal why Patil took the extreme step. PTI