Top Lokayukta official attacked

Victim in charge of investigations into mining scams in Karnataka

Top Lokayukta official attacked

Tell-tale sign:  Vigilance Director U V Singh shows his injury to Lokayukta Justice N Santosh Hegde at his residence  in Bangalore on Sunday. DH photo/ M S Manjunath

The ex-officio lake development authority chief executive officer said he was attacked when he was inspecting the lake after receiving  complaints that effluents were being dumped into it on Sundays. There were also charges that one of the sewage treatment plant (STP) channels of the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) was being used to release harmful chemicals into the lake.

Singh found a truck dumping effluents into a channel which releases  purified water into the lake from the BWSSB’s STP at Hebbal. On inquiry he found that the effluent was from a garment factory based at Peenya  and that the truck belonged to one Manju. Singh said four men threatened him when he tried to turn off the hose discharging the effluents. A person claiming to be a BBMP corporator intimidated him.

After a verbal duel, the five men attacked Singh from behind when he tried in vain to stop the truck. The man posing as the corporator ordered the truck to leave. Singh said he “jumped into the driver’s cabin to snatch the vehicle’s keys when the members of the gang, including the man posing as the corporator, started raining blows on my back, dragging me out of the cabin while the truck was speeding off.”

Singh escaped being crushed under the vehicle when he lost his grip and fell. One of the wheels of the truck ran over his left ankle. Singh escaped with minor injuries.

The Amruthahalli police have registered a case under IPC Sections 143 (unlawful assembly), 341 (wrongful restraint) 147 (rioting) and 353 (assault or force to deter public servant from discharging his duty).

Lokayukta Santosh Hedge regretted that “the police have gone soft on the attackers. Cases must have also been booked under Sections 307 (attempt to murder) and 506-B (assault)” against the “miscreants.”

Hegde said the government had also failed in protecting an upright officer from discharging his duties. This reflects the manner in which Karnataka is being governed, he added.

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