Contractor's Death: K'taka Cong Leaders Protesting Against Eshwarappa Detained

Meanwhile, the mortal remains of Santhosh Patil reached his residence in Belagavi.

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Contractor's Death: K'taka Cong Leaders Protesting Against Eshwarappa Detained

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Karnataka Congress leaders DK Shivakumar, Siddaramaiah, and others were detained by the state police on Thursday, 14 April, after they were stopped from marching towards Chief Minister (CM) Basavaraj Bommai's residence to demand for Karnataka Minister KS Eshwarappas's resignation in connection with contractor Santhosh Patil's death.

Patil had accused Eshwarappa of corruption but was found dead in Udupi on Tuesday. A First Information Report (FIR) was filed against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader on the charge of abetment to suicide on Wednesday.

The Congress leaders and workers then went on protest in front of the Vidhana Soudha.

"We'll continue to protest here all night," Congress' DK Shivakumar was quoted as saying by ANI.
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Meanwhile, the mortal remains of Santhosh Patil reached his residence in Belagavi on Thursday.

Earlier in the day, DK Shivakumar accused CM Bommai of saving Eshwarappa.

"He wants to save his corrupt minister. I think he is also part of this whole process. If he wants to save face of BJP and his government, then immediately arrest (KS Eshwarappa) & book a case of corruption," Shivakumar was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.


CM Bommai called Congress the 'Gangotri' of corruption and said that "Congress doesn't have any moral right to protest".

"Congress is a Gangotri of corruption. Post-mortem was done yesterday and now preliminary inquiry (report) will come & based on that we'll proceed," he said.

Meanwhile, Communist Party of India leader and Rajya Sabha MP from Kerala, Binoy Viswam, wrote to CM Bommai and demanded strict action against and the sacking of KS Eshwarappa.

'No Question of Me Resigning': Eshwarappa

On Wednesday, Eshwarappa stressed that he would not tender his resignation.

"The death note is false propaganda. I have informed CM Bommai and the party president that there is no question of me resigning as a minister," ANI quoted Eshwarappa as saying.

Meanwhile, CM Basavaraj had said that he will speak to Eshwarappa and had blamed the Opposition of trying to find fault in the case.

A case was registered by the Udupi Police under Indian Penal Code Section 306 (abetment to suicide), naming Eshwarappa and two of his aides – Basavaraj and Ramesh. The FIR is based on a complaint lodged by the brother of the deceased contractor.

On Tuesday, the brother of the deceased had reiterated the demand for justice for his brother and said that Patil's body will not be taken by the family till arrests are made in the case, news agency ANI reported.

Meanwhile, a Congress delegation including DK Shivakumar and former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah submitted a letter to Karnataka Governor Thawar Chand Gehlot on Tuesday morning, demanding sacking of Eshwarappa.


What Had Happened?

Santhosh Patil, who hailed from Hindalaga in Belagavi, had been missing since 11 April. A day later, his body was found in a lodge in Udupi. As per preliminary investigations, the contractor had died by suicide.

Patil had earlier accused Eshwarappa of asking for a bribe of 40 percent of the total cost of a project, demanding a commission to the tune of Rs 4 crore for the construction of a road in Belagavi's Higaldo village.

Police officials are investigating a text message he purportedly sent to his friends stating that he had decided to end his life and that Eshwarappa was "solely responsible for his death."

Addressing reporters after the news broke, the Karnataka minister denied having links with Patil's suspected suicide.

"I had lodged a defamation case against the person who accused me. He should have fought it in the court, I'm nowhere related to his suicide. I've not met him, there is no question of my resignation," KS Eshwarappa said.

Meanwhile, the state unit of the Congress protested against Eshwarappa, and demanded his arrest. While Shivakumar demanded a timely judicial inquiry into Santhosh Patil’s death, Opposition and former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said that it was clear that the incident was a 'murder'.

(With inputs from ANI.)

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Edited By :Saundarya Talwar
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