Tejraj Sharma, a victim of corrupt system or poverty?

Tejraj Sharma, a victim of corrupt system or poverty?

Tejraj Sharma had just one motive on his mind when he was brought to his single-room accommodation at Bidirumale Thota here on Thursday. To hide himself from the view of his neighbours.

Handcuffed and his face covered in mask, he took fast steps in the lane and hid himself among policemen escorting him, to avoid eye contact with his neighbours.

The 33-year-old has been staying in the 10x8 feet room for the last two months. Police found portraits of Gods, copies of complaints (against government officials), RTI forms and some clothes there. There was no bed, bed-sheet or a pillow, the police said, suggesting that Sharma may have had the habit of sleeping on the floor. Police spent nearly 45 minutes in his room and collected all documents.  

Even after coming out of the building, Sharma started moving briskly, but Vidhana Soudha  police inspector Shankarachar B asked him to go slow.

His landlady Venkatamma said she had taken Rs 5,000 advance from Sharma and had fixed Rs 1,300 rent per month. She and other neighbours said Sharma was a well-behaved man.  

Prakash, who runs a roadside eatery, said Sharma used to have four ragi muddes at the eatery every day. Prakash had given Sharma a concession as requested by him. Harish S, owner of a grocery shop nearby, said Sharma used to by buy pooja items besides toothpaste, toothbrush and soap from his shop. He was reserved and a calm person, Harish recalled.

Sharma and his brother had started furniture business and had opened a shop at Sridevi Nagar in Tumakuru. But they incurred huge losses. His brother left him and started selling bags on the footpath on MG Road in Tumakuru.

Sharma then worked in a furniture shop, before trading in furniture under the name of Ambe Krupa Number 1 Marketers at SS Puram. He approached various government offices in Tumakuru to sell furniture to them. Sharma began participating in the tender process to supply furniture.

When he did not get the tender to supply furniture over alleged irregularities, Sharma filed cases against the deputy director of public instruction, senior division assistant, assistant director of sericulture department and an official with the commercial taxes department, all in Tumakuru.

Gangadhar S, Sharma's neighbour and a seat cover vendor, said Sharma used to bring office furniture in a goods vehicles and supply them to government offices.

Police brutality?

A photograph of Sharma being arm-twisted by the police literally and assault marks on his face have been doing rounds in social media. The accused is seen wearing just an underwear at the Vidhana Soudha police station.

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