Karnataka to hand over phone tapping case to CBI

Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Sunday said he will order a CBI probe into the allegations citing demands by several Congress leaders. (DH photos)

The state government has decided to hand over the phone tapping case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), with Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa stating that Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah and other leaders had sought a probe into the incident. 

Speaking to reporters at his residence, Yediyurappa said he would write to the investigating agency on Monday. “I have issued an order to hand over the case to the CBI. The state government will write to the CBI on Monday, requesting the agency to probe the case and initiate action against the people responsible,” he said.

Congress leader Siddaramaiah cautiously welcomed the decision while simultaneously seeking a probe into ‘Operation Kamala’.

“I urge @BSYBJP to order CBI investigation into alleged Operation Kamala also. I heard they acted on my advice in phone tapping case and I hope they act on this issue as well,” he tweeted.

Former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy — who is accused of ordering the tapping — took a jibe at Yediyurappa, said that he would welcome a probe even by an international agency.

“Let them do any inquiry, whether it is a CBI inquiry or by any other agency of international standard ... or if need be, let them seek assistance from US President Donald Trump ...,” said Kumaraswamy in Dharmasthala. 

“If I was involved I would have panicked, I’m open.... There is not even an iota... to point fingers at me,” the former CM said.

Rebel legislators, including former JD(S) president A H Vishwanath, welcomed the move into the incident, which purportedly contained conversations of Bengaluru Police Commissioner Bhaskar Rao and a man identified as Faraz Khan.

Vishwanath claimed that even his phone had been tapped along with the phones of several other rebels who resigned from the coalition government.

The case had snowballed into a major controversy after tapes involving Rao’s purported conversations were leaked to the media. Following the leak, Rao had ordered a probe into the case by a senior police officer.

An interim report, which was recently submitted to the Director General and Inspector General of Police allegedly mentioned that an ADGP-ranked officer had played a major role in the phone tapping matter.

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