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Ex-PM Deve Gowda's 'threat' to top cop under probe

Monday November 14, 2011 12:32:13 AM, IANS

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Row over transfer of Karnataka top cop probing graft

Karnataka's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government and former prime minister H.D. Deve Gowda are caught in a major row after the transfer of a top police officer probing corruption charges against political leaders and their kin. 

Bangalore: Former prime minister H. D. Deve Gowda's reported threat to a top police official probing corruption charges against his son is being probed and action will be taken once it is completed, Karnataka Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda said Sunday.

The chief minister said that the police official, Jeevan Kumar Gaonkar, an additional director general of police (ADGP), was transferred Nov 10 from the office of Lokayukta (ombudsman) as he felt "embarrassed" to continue investigation into charges against Deve Gowda's son.

He denied that Gaonkar was shifted out of Lokayukta under pressure from former chief minister B. S. Yeddyurappa.

Gaonkar was supervising investigation into corruption and illegal lands deals cases against Yeddyurappa also.

Deve Gowda has confirmed he telephoned Gaonkar Nov 7 to convey his unhappiness about the way probe into his son H.D. Balakrishne Gowda, a retired Karnataka government official, was being conduced.

Deve Gowda, however, denied that he had threatened Gaonkar.

But Gaonkar has written a letter to state Chief Secretary S.V. Ranganath stating that Deve Gowda had accused him of being "Yeddyurappa's slave" and "warned" that he was "mistaken if he thought Yeddyurappa will save him".

Copies of Gaonkar's letter have been circulating in the media.

Gaonkar has been posted as ADGP, administration.

His transfer has angered Governor H. R. Bhardwaj and former Lokayukta N. Santosh Hegde.

Bhardwaj has said this will "send wrong message" while Hegde has said that it has been done to "sabotage" probe against Yeddyurappa.

At present the Lokayukta is headless as Hegde's successor Shivaraj V Patil quit Sep 19 following a row over owning two sites from two housing societies in Bangalore. Hegde's five-year term ended Aug 2.

Sadananda Gowda told reporters here that Gaonkar had written to the chief secretary "explaining his embarrassment to continue in the post" since he had been "threatened" by politicians connected with some sensitive case.

Though Gaonkar's letter mentions Deve Gowda, the chief minister did not take his name preferring "a senior politician" to refer to him.

Sadananda Gowda said Gaonkar has not filed any complaint against anybody. However the matter "is being investigated and action will be taken based on findings".

Police attached to Lokayukta police is probing charges that Deve Gowda's son, Balakrishne Gowda had acquired assets worth Rs. 500 crores. The probe is on the direction of Lokayukta special court judge N. K. Sudhindra Rao.







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