Demand will be referred to Siddaramaiah, says George

Home Minister K.J. George said the demand for a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into serious charges levelled against Inspector-General of Police (North Eastern Range) Mohammad Wazir Ahmed, by Mallamma, wife of the slain police sub-inspector Mallikarjun Bande, would be referred to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah for a final decision. Ms. Mallamma has alleged that her husband was harassed by Mr. Ahmed.

Addressing a press conference after offering his last respects to Mr. Bande in Gulbarga city on Thursday, Mr. George said that Ms. Mallamma had told him about the harassment meted out allegedly by Mr. Ahmed and said that he had no powers to order or recommend a CBI investigation. The Chief Minister was the final authority to take a decision in the matter.

However, Mr. George said the charges levelled against Mr. Ahmed by Ms. Mallamma and others of harassment and alleged discrimination against a section of police officers and also the incident of the removal of names of several anti-social elements from the rowdy sheeters’ list would be investigated by the State Home Department. “A departmental inquiry would look into all these issues,” he said.

Ms. Mallamma told Mr. George her husband had told her about the harassment meted out to him by Mr. Ahmed. She also wanted the role played by Mr. Ahmed in the shootout between the police and the notorious contract killer Munna Darbadar be investigated in detail to bring out the truth. To a question, Mr. George said the government had extended all help to Mr. Bande’s family and the best available treatment to him. He said doctors attending on him had not recommended shifting him to the hospital in London. “We had left the judgment on airlifting Mr. Bande to the doctors at Yashoda Super-Specialty Hospital, and there were no suggestions from them to shift him from Hyderabad,” he said.

Compensation

On the demand for increasing compensation of Rs. 15 lakh to the family to Rs. 1 crore, Mr. George said apart from the Rs. 15 lakhs compensation announced by the government, the family would receive another Rs. 10 lakh as compensation from the police fund. He said he would discuss the issue of doubling the compensation to Rs. 30 lakh with the Chief Minister to take a final decision. Mallamma would also be given a housing site in any part of Karnataka and she would continue to receive the last drawn salary of Mr. Bande every month till the date of his retirement.

He said the government had already announced that Mr. Bande’s two children would be adopted and their education would be the responsibility of the State government. The State government would also recommend gallantry award to Mr. Bande posthumously.

Mr. George, who arrived early on Thursday in Gulbarga, went straight to the police parade ground and participated in the ceremony. The body was draped in the tricolour and given full State Honours with a three-gun salute by police personnel. Later the body was handed over to the family of Mr. Bande to be taken to Khajuri village in Aland taluk for burial.

Even as the mortal remains of Mr. Bande was being taken in an ambulance to Khajuri, the officer’s relatives and members of pro-Kannada organisations stopped the ambulance demanding that the compensation be increased to Rs. 1 crore. However, they were persuaded by senior officials to allow the vehicle to leave for Khajuri and promised that their demands would be considered.

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