‘Permission was granted only to lay pipe through defence land, not service road’

The Local Military Authority (LMA) of the Army Base Workshop has filed a complaint against the husband of the local councillor and the Ulsoor Police Inspector for instigating a mob here on Sunday to attack army personnel and prevent the construction of the compound wall on army land which has allegedly been encroached upon for constructing a storm-water drain in Gautampura.

Senior Army personnel approached Police Commissioner B.G. Jyothi Prakash Mirji on Monday alleging that Inspector H.K. Mahananda was hand-in-glove with Councillor Sarala Mohan in instigating the mob. The complaint was later forwarded to the jurisdictional Ulsoor Police Station, where a case has been registered against the Inspector as well as the councillor’s husband, Mohan.

Sewage line

According to the complaint, the councillor of Agaram (Ward No 114) had submitted a proposal to the LMA seeking permission to lay a sewage line through the defence land at Gautampura near Artillery Road. The Station Headquarters granted the work to be taken up by the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) in January 2013, with the understanding that no claim on the defence land will be made by the civil authorities.

However, in February 2013, the 515 Army Base Workshop, the LMA looking after this land, found the BWSSB contractor levelling the land. Enquiries revealed that work on sewage line would start only in July 2013 and the land was being levelled with the intent of constructing a service road at the behest of Mr. Mohan, the councillor’s husband. In fact, the defence land compound wall had been demolished at two places. The complaint said when the Army contacted the police, they did nothing.

Subsequently, an FIR was filed on March 14 against Mr. Mohan and the Army again sought police protection, this time from the Deputy Commissioner of Police, to rebuild the demolished parts of the compound wall.

‘MLA looked on’

On Sunday, Army personnel began work to restore the wall a little past midnight to minimise traffic impediments. However, Mr. Mohan, the complaint said, came with Mr. Mahananda and a mob which began throwing stones at the Army personnel. One of them was injured in the face and had to be taken to Command Hospital. The complaint also named N. Haris, MLA, who, it said, looked on while the mob went on the rampage.

Then, Deputy Commissioner of Police Krishna Bhat, along with a platoon of Karnataka Reserve Police Force, rushed to the spot and brought the situation under control. The Army personnel then stopped the work on the assurance that nobody would trespass on the defence property.

Meanwhile, Mr. Mohan told The Hindu that a complaint has been filed against Army personnel for abusing and manhandling his wife when she went to question them over the wall construction. “They not only used filthy language against me and roughed me up but also attacked Mr. Mahanand who intervened,” he said.

Security has been stepped up in the area and police have asked the army personnel to stop the construction.

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