Home >politics >policy >Siddaramaiah defends George, refuses to remove him over CBI case

Bengaluru: Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah on Friday defended his cabinet colleague and ruled out any possibility of removing K.J. George as a minister.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had on Thursday filed a case against George, minister in charge of Bengaluru and a close aide of Siddaramaiah, as well as two senior police officials, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Pronab Mohanty and Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) A.M. Prasad in a case relating to a state police official’s suicide last year.

Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) M.K. Ganapathy had given an interview to a local Kannada channel on 7 July last year, accusing then home minister George and police officials of harassing him over the years. A few hours later, Ganapathy was found hanging from a ceiling fan at a lodge in Kodagu district, about 250km from Bengaluru.

Siddaramaiah on Friday said that there was no fresh FIR against George and that the CBI had merely registered the case.

On 5 September, the Supreme Court had ordered a probe by CBI into the Ganapathy’s suicide and allegations made by his father, who filed a plea seeking an investigation into the case. The court directed that the probe be completed in three months.

Siddaramaiah said that as the Bengaluru district in-charge minister, there was no possibility of him influencing the case as alleged by opposition political parties.

“K.J. George should be removed from cabinet immediately," B.S.Yeddyurappa, Karnataka BJP president and former chief minister, said on Thursday. He said George’s position as a minister during the probe could hamper fair investigation, alleging that there were even chances of evidence being destroyed.

After the case came to light last year, Siddaramaiah initially defended his colleague and aide, but George finally resigned. The case was later handed over to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), a state government agency. Three months later, George was reinducted into the cabinet after the CID gave him and the two senior police officials a clean chit in its report, drawing sharp criticism from citizen groups and political parties.

“If George can resign when the case was handed to CID, why is he not resigning when the CBI has filed a case against him," asked K.S.Eshwarappa, a senior BJP leader, on Thursday.

“Siddaramaiah is defending the indefensible. Instead of acting against accused number 1 in the mysterious death of officer Ganapathy, he is defending him and presenting bizarre logic to defend him," Prakash Javederkar, Union human resource development minister and election in charge of Karnataka said on Friday in Bengaluru.

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