The controversy over the properties of noted taxidermist Edward Joubert Van Ingen, who died at the age of 101 at Mysore in March this year, has taken a curious turn.

Michael Floyd Eshwer, a horse trainer, who has been accused of grabbing the properties, has approached Home Minister K.J. George accusing police officials of implicating him in a false case.

Mr. Eshwer, who claimed that he had been adopted by Van Ingen through a registered deed in 2006, told presspersons here on Thursday that the police and some former employees of the taxidermist, including his private secretary, were attempting to defame him and take over the properties though he had relevant documents. He said that the Karnataka High Court had stayed the investigation by the police.

In a memorandum submitted to Mr. George, he has named a former deputy commissioner of police and a police inspector.

“I bought his house Bisal Manti in Nazarbad in 2005 after paying Rs. 75 lakh through a deed of sale registered in the sub registrar’s office while his 220-acre coffee estate in Wayanad district in Kerala was given as a gift deed,” he claimed. The First Information Report filed with the jurisdictional Nazarbad police was false and fabricated, Mr. Eshwar said.

He claimed that a large number of wildlife trophies created by Van Ingen and registered under the Wildlife Protection Act 1972 had been legally transferred to him through a will in 2007 that was approved by the Chief Wildlife Warden. Pointing to the inventory of the seized articles from his house that has been produced before the 3rd JMFC by the police, he said: “My revolver, Rs. 10 lakh and clothes are missing.”

Meanwhile, outgoing Deputy Commissioner of Police Basavaraj S. Malagatti said the Nazarbad police had commenced their investigation based on a complaint filed by Ingen himself. A.K. Subbaiah, the former MLC, too has written to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, seeking his intervention in the matter.

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