The Janata Dal (Secular) on Friday demanded a probe by the Karnataka Lokayukta into the deaths of inmates at the Beggars' Rehabilitation Centre on Magadi Road in Bangalore.

Addressing presspersons here, Janata Dal (Secular) Legislature Party leader H.D. Revanna blamed the State Government for the deaths and said unhygienic atmosphere at the centre and supply of inadequate food were the major reasons for the deaths.

The Bharatiya Janata Party Government, led by Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, was more bothered about tackling problems within the party rather than implementing policies meant for the welfare of the poor, he said and alleged that the government had misutilised funds sanctioned for the Beggars' Rehabilitation Centre.

He demanded a probe to find reasons and fix responsibility for the deaths.

The Janata Dal (Secular) has raised the issue of beggars' rehabilitation centres in the State in the last session of the State legislature.

But there was no response from the Government. Mr. Revanna demanded the resignation of Social Welfare Minster D. Sudhakar.

However, Mr. Sudhakar said that the question of tendering resignation does not arise and he has constituted a committee headed by Social Welfare Commissioner to Manjunath Prasad to probe the deaths.

Judicial probe sought

Activists of Kannada Chaluvali Vatal Paksha led by its president Vatal Nagaraj on Friday staged a protest in front of the Chief Minister's residence demanding a judicial probe into the death of beggars at the rehabilitation centre. Mr. Vatal Nagaraj said that 70 beggars have died in the last two months due to improper facilities. Meanwhile, the former Minister P.G.R. Sindhia also demanded that the Government order a judicial inquiry into the deaths at Beggars' Colony on Magadi Road and punish those responsible for the incident.