By P.T. Bopanna
With the CBI filing an FIR against Karnataka minister K.J. George, making him the first accused in the case of abetment to the suicide of DY SP M.K. Ganapathy in July 2016, the noose has begun tightening around George, who is said to be the most trusted man of Congress President Sonia Gandhi in Karnataka.
In view of the closeness of George to the Congress high command, the Siddaramaiah government had tried every dirty trick to derail the investigation from the time Ganapathy’s body was found hanging in a lodge at Madikeri in Kodagu district.
The investigation by the Karnataka CID in the case and the haste in which a clean chit was given to George, has even rattled the Supreme Court.
Acting on a petition by Ganapathy’s father M. K. Kushalappa, a Supreme Court bench of Justices Adarsh Kumar Goel and U U Lalit said, in the interest of justice, the matter should be investigated by the CBI.
“There are certain startling facts in the case. Whether it is murder or suicide, it is required to be investigated in a fair manner. We are not determining the nature of the offence or who is guilty. But public confidence and societal requirement demand that the guilty persons must be reached,” the bench said.
Hours before his body was found hanging in the lodge, Ganapathy (in picture) had given television interview that if anything happened to his life, George and two other IPS officials have to be held responsible.
The dirty tricks brigade which panicked following the death of Ganapathy, reportedly roped in the brother of Ganapathy, M.K. Thammaiah, who is a Dy SP at Ramanagaram to make damaging statements against the dead officer. Thammaiah told the media that his brother was suffering from depression.
The CID police which was apparently under pressure from the government to give a clean chit to George, filed a B report (no evidence against the accused) before the court, without even waiting for the forensic evidence, involving alleged tampering of Ganapathy’s mobile phone, pen drive and computer.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah was apparently under pressure from the Congress high command to re-inducted George into his ministry even before the latter was given a ‘clean chit’ by the court.
The JMFC judge Annapoorneshwari had given time till September 29 to Ganapathi’s son Nehal, who had filed a private complaint, to file objections to the ‘B’ report. Even before the objection was filed, Siddaramaiah re-inducted George, raising many eyebrows.
The advocate of the Ganapathy family which had gone to the Supreme Court demanding justice, was quoted as saying: “The forensic report reportedly says that at least 335 contacts had been deleted from Ganapathy’s phone, besides 2,400 photographs, 110 emails, 61 SMSs and 145 PDF documents. Call records pertaining to a prominent MLA and a minister too have been deleted but the CID had filed a closure report in the case.”
With such wide-spread tampering of evidence, the Karnataka CID investigating officers will be under the scanner.
The CBI investigation is bound to pull out lot of skeletons from the cupboard. The role of police officials and their political masters will come under scrutiny in the run up to the Assembly elections in Karnataka next year.
The BJP is bound to cash in on the issue. The Supreme Court which has ordered the investigation should ensure that Ganapathy, who was hounded by powerful people during his service, gets justice.