No special probe into Thirthahalli incident, says minister

No special probe into Thirthahalli incident, says minister

Shimoga district in-charge minister Kimmane Ratnakar has ruled out a special probe into the Thirthahalli incident in Shimoga district, in which a 14-year-old schoolgirl was “abducted and poisoned” by three young men last week. He said the jurisdictional police were on the verge of apprehending the culprits.

Speaking to reporters here on Monday after briefing Chief Minister Siddaramaiah about the incident, Ratnakar said that it was the government’s responsibility to bring the guilty to book.

Asked whether the government was contemplating handing over the investigation to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Ratnakar said that the jurisdictional police were confident of apprehending the culprits within three days. “There is no question of protecting anybody”, he said.

Ratnakar, who is MLA from Thirthahalli, claimed the BJP was trying to “draw political mileage” out of the incident, and accused it of “plotting to incite communal violence”.
The girl’s parents had made a complaint to the police that she was abducted by three men who later poisoned her. She died of health complications on October 31.

The minister claimed that “vested interests and communal elements” had taken political advantage of the incident and shouted slogans and staged protests against him in Thirthahalli. He pointed out that he could not be in Shimoga on the morning of November 1 as he had to attend the Rajyosatva event in Bangalore organised by the Department of Public Instruction. “A disinformation campaign was launched against me during the girl’s funeral to instigate the crowd,” he averred.

On the demand of the ABVP—the BJP’s student wing—that the government pay compensation to the girl’s family, Ratnakar said that since a murder case had been registered, the government was studying the rules whether compensation could be paid at this stage.

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