Kumaraswamy challenges CM to order CBI probe into lottery racket

Charges government with protecting mafia behind it

Kumaraswamy challenges CM to order CBI probe into lottery racket

JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy on Thursday dared Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to order a CBI probe into the illegal single digit lottery and matka racket operating in the State, despite the ban on them.

In an interaction with reporters here, the former chief minister said that the government was protecting the interests of the mafia behind the illegalities.

Revealing the name of senior IPS officer B A Padmanayana, who has been shifted out of the Excise and Lottery Prohibition Cell, Kumaraswamy said that the tentacles of the mafia were entrenched deeply in the Home department.

He said that though Siddaramaiah himself had pulled up a few IPS officers for their direct involvement with the kingpins of the illegal lottery mafia (during the annual police conference held recently), he was soft-peddling the issue.

“By merely ordering a CID probe and making somebody scapegoat, the problem will not be solved. I dare the chief minister to order a CBI probe, especially when it has become apparent that two kingpins - Rajan and Jeetu - are running the show in collusion with top officers of the department. The mafia, which was fixing hafta worth crores of rupees, has suddenly stopped doing so,” he said.

Kumaraswamy demanded that the chief minister and Home Minister K J George should reveal why differences had cropped up within the department, the connection between Padmanayana and the mafia and also why the Excise and Lottery Prohibition Cell was ordered to be wound up.

“Was this done following the orders of George or was it done at the behest of George’s advisor Kempaiah?” he said.

Padmanayana, who was appointed IG of the Excise and Lottery Prohibition Cell in January, was transferred and posted as IG (Planning and Modernisation) two days ago. According to sources in the police department, the proposal to wind up the Cell was made a month ago, and the matter was pending before the Home secretariat.

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