Corporator's husband instigated attack on our men: Army

MLA Haris didnt stop mob, it says; police analyse video footage

The Army, on Monday, reiterated that the land in Gautampura near Halasur, which has been a bone of contention and even led to a tiff between the locals and a few army personnel early on Saturday, legitimately belongs to it.

An official note from the Army spokesperson said that Sarala Mohan, the local Corporator, had, in September 2012, forwarded a proposal to its Station Headquarters here for laying a sewage line through ‘A1 Defence Land’ at Gautampura, near the Artillery Road.

“The Station Headquarters granted permission for the work to be undertaken by the BWSSB in January 2013, with the understanding that no claim on the said land will be made by civil authorities,” the spokesperson claimed.

However, the note said, in February, the 515 Army Base Workshop (which is the Local Military Authority looking after this land) had found that the contractor of BWSSB had started levelling the land. 

On enquiring, it was found that the work on sewage line would start only in July and the levelling was being done to construct a service road. The note claims that this was being done at the behest of Mohan, Sarala’s husband.

“In the process of constructing unauthorised service road through the said land, the compound wall of the defence establishment was demolished at two places,” the note said.

It said that, in order to restore the demolished walls and to do the trench work for laying the 600-mm underground sewage line, police protection was sought on February 27.

“However, the co-operation was not forthcoming from the police. Subsequently, an FIR was filed on March 14 against Mohan and again police protection to rebuild the demolished compound was sought from DCP Halasur Police Station,” the Army claimed. It said that Station House Officer Mahananda’s name was also mentioned in the FIR for not allowing the military authority to do the trench work and also to prevent the trespassing of the said land.

Rebuilding

On March 24 (Saturday), the Army said, troops were tasked with restoring the wall. In order to avoid any traffic issues, the military authority undertook the task of rebuilding in the night (of March 23/24) at around 12.30 am.

“But Mohan tried to disrupt the proceedings. He collected his men and called Mahananda for his support. They instigated their men to throw stones and road barriers on military personnel. Due to this, many military personnel were injured and one of them was evacuated to the Command Hospital with profuse bleeding in his face. However, they were finally restrained and asked to be out of the land,” the note said. 

It was subsequent to this that DCP Krishna Bhat and the Karnataka Reserve Police force reached the spot and controlled the mob, the Army said.

“The local MLA, N A Harris, was present there, but did not try to stop the mob from attacking and was favouring them.  Bhat controlled the mob and work was stopped by military authorities on the assurance of the DCP that nobody will trespass the land and break the barrier,” the note said.

DCP (East) Krishna Bhat said the police videographed the entire episode and are analysing footage to ascertain who were present when the violence broke out and who attacked whom. The police completed the spot mahajar on Monday and will continue the probe through a proper channel as a few Army officers are involved. No Army officer has been probed yet, he added.

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