MLA dismisses allegations as politically motivated

The Belthangady police are investigating into a complaint of assault against MLA Vasanth Bangera. The complaint has taken a political turn with Mr. Bangera terming the allegations as “pure politics”, while the district BJP said it pointed to the “gundaism” among Congress’s elected representatives.

According to the petition (for non-cognizable cases) filed by Raghu Bhandary from Kokkada, around 11.30 a.m. on Tuesday, he questioned the Minister for “coming late” to a function where BPL cards and compensation cheques for areca farmers were being distributed. He claimed that the MLA responded by verbally and physically abusing him.

Meanwhile, referring to allegations of assault of an autorickshaw driver by Moodbidri MLA and Minister K. Abhayachandra Jain recently, the BJP district unit said Tuesday’s incident pointed to the “gundaism” in the politics of the Congress. In a release, BJP district spokesman Suresh Shetty has asked the police to initiate a fair probe

Talking to The Hindu, Mr. Bangera denied the allegations. He said that though he reached the venue 15 minutes early for the programme scheduled at 11.30 a.m., the complainant had confronted him for coming late.

“This man came close to me and alleged that he had come at 9 a.m. because I had told him to. He then started arguing and provoking me, before he was whisked away by others…There was no assault of any sort. There were about 600 people in the hall, apart from taluk officials,” he said.

He added that his health barely permitted him to walk, let alone throw a punch. “This allegation pains me…This is purely politics…This incident is orchestrated by my younger brother Prabhakar Bangera (a former BJP MLA),” Mr. Bangera said.

The Belthangady police said a preliminary questioning of eye-witnesses ran contrary to the complaint, and there was no evidence of an assault.

Man assaulted

Two men attacked a 26-year-old man, who was talking to a girl in K.C. Road near Talapady on Tuesday.

Ullal police said, the victim, Hitaraj, a resident of Ullal Mogaveerpatna, had dialled the number of a girl and disconnected the call two days ago. He called her back after she gave a missed call a few hours later. This time around he spoke to her. On Tuesday, the girl asked Hitaraj to come to K.C. Road and meet her.

As they were talking, two motorcycle-borne men came and took him to a secluded area, assaulted him and left. Hitaraj has been admitted to a private hospital.

Man stabbed

The 28-year-old owner of a garment store in Derlakatte was stabbed in the back by a group of people while he was returning on his motorcycle to his house Tuesday night. Ullal police said the group blocked the way of Badrul Muneer (28) on the pretext of asking for directions. Mr. Muneer has been admitted to a private hospital.

More In: Mangaluru