Siddu loyalist in trouble over murder case probe

The Asian Age.  | MK Ashoka

India, All India

Earlier, when Siddaramaiah was CM, the police had concluded that the murder was because of personal rivalry over a land dispute.

K Siddaramaiah (Photo: File)

BENGALURU: Trouble is brewing for Vinay Kulakarni, considered a loyalist of former chief minister Siddaramaiah with the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) resuming the investigation into the murder case of BJP leader Yogesh Gowda (26).

CBI officers on Thursday interrogated the four accused Vinayaka Katagi, Mudukappa, Keerthi and Sandeepa @ Sandy, the accused persons in the murder case.  

Earlier, when Siddaramaiah was CM, the police had  concluded  that the murder was because of personal rivalry over a land dispute. However, the BJP and parents of Yogesh Gowda cried foul and protests were organised.   

Vinay Kulakarni, former minister in the Siddaramaiah cabinet is alleged to have got Yogesh Gowda, a ZP member killed for political reasons. Yogesh was hacked to death inside a gym in Saptapurabavi area in Dharwad on June 15, 2016. Though, the police arrested the accused, his family members accused Vinay Kulakarni of being involved in the murder of Yogesh Gowda.

There were demands for a CBI probe in 2016 and a petition was filed in the High Court. The court shot down the demand a few days later as his wife submitted to the court that she was not opposed to the police investigation. When the BJP came to power in the state, a party delegation met Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa and demanded a CBI inquiry into the murder case. Yediyurappa obliged and handed the case over to the CBI.

Before the CBI could investigate the case, Vinay Kulakarni got a stay on the investigation in the Dharwad bench of the High Court. The CBI then appealed against this in the Supreme Court. The apex court lifted the stay paving the way for the CBI to resume the investigation.  

The murder case had become a flash point between the then ruling Congress and opposition BJP. Yediyurappa had openly declared in election rallies in the Dharwad region that he would send Vinay Kulakarni to jail whereas Siddaramaiah had backed Kulakarni.