DSP suicide: K’taka minister resigns; pressure now on Odia IPS officer

Bengaluru: With Karnataka Minister K J George resigning on Monday following a court direction, pressure is mounting on the Siddaramaiah government to take action against the two IPS officers, one of them Odisha-born Pranab Mohanty, named by former deputy superintendent of police (DSP) M K Ganapathy as the three persons who had been harassing him shortly before he committed suicide on July 7.

Ganapathy (51) was found hanging from the ceiling fan in a room at a lodge in Madikeri on July 7, prior to which he gave an interview to a local TV channel, saying the minister and AM Prasad (IG-Intelligence) and Pranab Mohanty (IGP- Lokayukta) would be responsible “if anything happens to me.”

George stepped down hours after a local court at Madikeri in Kodagu district ruled on a private criminal complaint filed by the deceased police officer M K Ganapathy’s son Nehal and directed the police to register an FIR and take up an investigation against the minister and two officers on charges of abetting Ganapathy’s suicide.

“I have submitted my resignation…it is left to the Chief Minister (to accept it or not),” George, Minister for Bengaluru development, said, adding, he had taken the step to pave the way for an impartial probe.

Asserting that his conscience was “clear”, George said “… I have not harassed anybody… I will come out clean.”

The order by Additional Judicial Magistrate First Class Annapurneshwari came, as Chief Minister Siddaramaiah faced growing clamour to remove George, with the Opposition stalling proceedings of both the Houses of legislature, which were abruptly adjourned sine die today much before the July 30 schedule.

Ganapathy s wife Pavana and Nehal had approached the court, stating that the police had rejected the complaint lodged by them with the Kushalanagar police on July 10 against George and IPS officials A M Prasad and Odia IPS officer Pranab Mohanty.

In his complaint, Nehal had said his father had made a “dying declaration” naming George and the two officers and their acts amounted to “abetting the commission of suicide.”

Appealing to the court to take cognisance of the offence punishable under IPC section 306 read with Section 34, the complaint had also claimed that the accused were highly placed and influential persons who had prevailed upon police from taking action against them.

Nehal’s counsel M T Nanaiah said Investigating Officers would have to question George and the two police officers and take a call on whether to arrest them or not depending on their probe.

“Hope we will get justice. Let us see further what happens,” Gapanathy’s wife told reporters at Madikeri.

Facing a combative Opposition, which has been stalling Assembly proceedings since Monday last, the state government constituted a judicial commission headed by K N Keshavanarayana to inquire into the alleged suicide.

The commission would inquire into the “circumstances and events” leading to the “unnatural death” of Ganapathy. The case was being probed by the state CID.

The Opposition BJP and JDS had rejected the judicial probe, with the former insisting on a CBI inquiry.