The brutal attack on S.P. Mahantesh, Deputy Director of Cooperative Audit, eerily follows the official's involvement in notifying the media about site allotment scams in Karnataka, such as the irregularities in the BEML Employees Cooperative Society.

A week before the assault, Mr. Mahantesh had handed over to The Hindu a copy of the audit report of the BEML ECS which showed several irregularities pertaining to land acquisition, layout formation and allotment of sites. The handing over of the copy had led to a lot of discussion in the office, not all being in approval of his actions.

In touch with 'The Hindu'

Mr. Mahantesh has been interacting with The Hindu since September last year, when irregularities in the allocation of land in the Judicial Employees House Building Cooperative Society layout to the former Karnataka Lokayukta, Shivaraj V. Patil had hit the headlines.

A forthcoming official

Unlike most officers in the department who created a fuss before handing over information, Mr. Mahantesh was always forthcoming: “The only way to fight corruption is through transparency.”

In the last six to eight months, Mr. Mahantesh has been involved in pointing out the extent of illegal land allotments which benefitted, among other influential people, political leaders across the spectrum and IAS and KAS officers.

Even though The Hindu had been aided by Mr. Mahantesh on details regarding the BEML ECS, when the Cooperative Audit Department was contacted, they denied he was involved with the Society's audit.

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