Staff Correspondent

Says that he is totally innocent in the case

He will not insist on a CBI probe in

the case

Udupi: Atul Rao, accused in the Padmapriya Bhat case, on Wednesday said that he has been made a scapegoat in the case.

Padmapriya Bhat, wife of Udupi MLA K. Raghupati Bhat, was found dead in a flat in New Delhi on June 15. She had allegedly committed suicide.

Speaking to presspersons here, Mr. Rao said: “I am totally innocent. I neither kidnapped her nor was I responsible for her death. I have full confidence in the courts. I am confident that I will win the case in the court.”

Mr. Rao said that he would not insist on a CBI probe in the case. “I got bail in the case with great difficulty. But I will be happy if there is a CBI probe,” he said.


Replying to a query, he said: “Padmapriya Bhat wanted to live independently. I helped her because she asked for help. By helping her, I have landed in trouble.” In reply to another question, he said that he had talked to Padmapriya Bhat on June 14 on the telephone in front of the then Superintendent of Police of Udupi district Devajyothi Ray.

“I have told all the facts to the police team investigating the case,” he said.

Answering another question, he said: “If I had gone to her flat in New Delhi on the morning on June 15, she would have survived”.

Mr. Rao said he was taken to New Delhi by a police team from the State. But they had reached the flat at around 2.30 p.m. or 2.45 p.m. on June 15. (But he learnt of her death at 8.30 p.m. on June 15), he said.

‘Closed chapter’

Asked if there was any threat to his life, Mr. Rao said: “I don’t fear any threat to my life. I have not received any threat calls. But if anything happens to me, only “he” (Raghupati Bhat) would be responsible for it.” He said that his friendship with Mr. Bhat “is a closed chapter.”

Mr. Rao said that he had sought to be shifted to Mangalore Jail after there was an attempt to attack him in the Udupi Sub-Jail on July 2. Mr. Rao was shifted from Udupi Sub Jail to Mangalore Jail on July 5.