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Of politicians, their kin, and crime

By K.V. Subramanya

BANGALORE, MARCH 14. The arrest of Bharathi Urs, daughter of the former Chief Minister, the late D. Devaraj Urs, in a murder case has become the talk of the town.

Ms. Bharathi Urs was planning to contest the Assembly elections from Hunsur in Mysore district, which was earlier represented by her father and elder sister, Chandraprabha Urs.

Even in the past, the police have booked politicians and relatives of political stalwarts on charges of committing heinous crimes.

While some of them have been acquitted, trial is on in a few other cases.

Sunil Sundeep, grandson of the former Chief Minister, the late Kengal Hanumanthaiya, was arrested by the Bangalore police on the charge of robbing a bank in the 1980s.

The police had charged Sundeep with robbing the cashier of Canara Bank's RMV Extension branch at gunpoint.

However, after a long trial he was acquitted.

Ravikanth Patil, a two-time MLA from Indi in Bijapur district, was accused of kidnapping and raping a minor girl from Solapur in Maharashtra. In June 1999, a case was registered against Mr. Patil at Vijapur Naka police station in Solapur under 10 sections of the Indian Penal Code.

This apart, there are a few more criminal cases against Mr. Patil in Solapur. He won the 1999 Assembly elections as an Independent from Indi, despite being in jail.

A two-time MLA from Aland in Gulbarga district, Subhash Rukmayya Guttedar, is an accused in a murder committed in a village on the Karnataka-Maharashtra border a few years ago.

Mr. Guttedar had obtained anticipatory bail from the Karnataka High Court.

Some time ago, the former Congress MLA, Govindappa Juttal, was acquitted in a murder case after a long trial.

The police had arrested him in connection with a murder in Kundgol in Dharwad district. He lost the Assembly elections from Kundgol constituency in 1999.

A prominent BJP leader from Gulbarga district, Valmiki Naik, is the prime accused in the murder of a Congress activist in Shahabad police station limits a few years ago.

Mr. Naik who was absconding for some time later surrendered to police. In the 1999 Assembly elections, Mr. Naik lost narrowly to the Minister of State for Libraries, Baburao Chavan, from the Shahabad (Reserved) constituency.

Recently, the Stamp Paper Investigation Team (STAMPIT) arrested R. Rehan Baig, the younger brother of the former Minister for Small-scale Industries and Haj, R. Roshan Baig, for his alleged involvement in the stamp paper racket.

The STAMPIT has questioned Mr. Roshan Baig thrice.

The Homicide and Burglary Squad of the Corps of Detectives (CoD) has said it has found prima facie evidence against the former Assembly Speaker, Ramesh Kumar, and his elder brother, Krishna Murthy, in the murder of a Congress activist in March, 2003, in Gownipalli police station limits of Srinivasapur taluk in Kolar district.

The officer investigating the case has sought permission to prosecute Mr. Ramesh Kumar and his brother.

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