'Ex-MP has fake caste tag'

Official sources replied in the affirmative. They claimed on Tuesday that Shashikumar, who is from upper caste Kshatriya, had declared that he belonged to Nayaka community, a Scheduled Tribe.

However, Social Welfare Minister Govind Karjol, who presided over a meeting of the officials  regarding progress in fake caste certificate cases, only said one Sashikumar, son of G V Raj Prakash, had taken the fake caste certificate. However, he declined to confirm whether it was former JD(S) MP, who has now joined the Congress. The officials, who had issued the certificate, have retired, the minister told media persons.

When contacted Sashikumar, who had unsuccessfully contested Assembly election later, alleged that the Minister was resorting to smear campaign. Shashikumar said the controversy began in 2008 when the BJP came to power and the Civil Rights Enforcement (CRE) Cell conducted an inquiry and gave him a B report. The former MP said he never took advantage of his caste. 

Karjol did not speak about the alleged false caste certificate given by Shimoga (Rural) MLA K G Kumaraswamy, saying the matter is pending with the court. However, about the case of  Chikkanna, Congress MLA from H D Kote, the minister said the matter is yet to be investigated.

The government has instructed the CRE Cell to file cases under SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act-1989 against Tahsildars who issued false caste certificates. He said false caste certificates have been issued to 632 people. Gulbarga with 200 cases tops the list of false caste certificate scam and enquiry is underway in all the cases, he added.

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