Now, wine merchants allege harassment by minister's kin

'Excise Minister Jarkiholi's brother-in-law rules the department'

Now, wine merchants allege  harassment by minister's kin

The Mysore and Chamarajanagar Districts Wine Merchants’ Association has accused the officer kin of Excise minister Satish Jarkiholi of harassing wine merchants, giving credence to the allegations by former chief minister Jagadish Shettar that the officer was holding the reins of the department.

Addressing the media in the city on Tuesday, Guruswamy, the Association president, alleged that Y Manjunath who was transferred as deputy commissioner (excise) from Mysore to Bangalore recently has been holding the keys to the department. Manjunath is the brother-in-law of Jarkiholi (He is married to Jarkiholi’s younger sister).

Guruswamy said that recently there was a raid on his bar and restaurant near Teresian College here. The officials from the Excise department in Bangalore had raided the bar alleging that outstation liquor (from Goa) was being sold. It later emerged that two strangers who came in the guise of customers had deliberately left behind a bag of 10 such liquor bottles. Guruswamy suspected the role of Manjunath in the same. Whenever they seek information under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, the authorities concerned in the department remind the wine merchants of their dues to the department, Guruswamy said.

A complaint was lodged against Manjunath, the then Excise DC of Mysore, with the Lokayukta police a year ago. Following the complaint, the then Lokayukta SP of Mysore, had raided Manjunath’s office, besides two other premises. Manjunath had been arrested along with three others and was remanded in judicial custody. The officer had also misused his position during his tenure in Mysore by awarding 14 licences to the bidders in his coterie. The successful bidders are running the business with Manjunath’s spouse and other relatives as partners, Guruswamy said.

Even after Manjunath’s transfer to Bangalore, a permanent officer is yet to succeed him (in Mysore), as Shivanagowda Nayak Patil holds the additional charge. Patil is a confidant of Manjunath, Guruswamy said.

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