Special Correspondent

CPI(M) accuses police of attempting to hush up the case

‘Victim’s property and bank account should be frozen’

GULBARGA: The State unit of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has demanded that the State Government hand over the investigation into the death of Padmapriya Bhat, wife of Udupi MLA Raghupathi Bhat, to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Speaking at a press conference here on Saturday, S.Y. Gurushant, State Secretariat Member of the CPM, accused the State police of attempting to hush up the case. He said that any hope of an impartial investigation by the State police was lost because of the “dubious” role played by Home Minister V.S. Acharya in the initial stages of investigation. He added that Mr. Acharya had given a clean chit to Mr. Bhat in the initial stages itself.

Mr. Gurushant said that until the investigation was completed and the case was settled, the property and the bank account in the name of Ms. Bhat should be frozen. .

Referring to the shortage of fertilizers and farmer suicides in the State, Mr. Gurushant demanded that the State Government convene a meeting of leaders of all farmers’ organisations. There had been a lot of confusion over the supply of fertilizers by the Centre and its distribution by the State Government agencies. There was a need for a detailed discussion on the amount of fertilizer stocks and how it had been equitably distributed in the State, he added.

Mr. Gurushant said the Government should also release details of steps taken by it to stop the black marketing of fertilizers in different parts of the State. He said that it was an open secret that fertilizers, particularly DAP which was in short supply, was being sold in the black market and the officials of the Agriculture Department had turned a blind eye to it.

Mr. Gurushant also expressed the party’s displeasure over the marginal benefit extended by the State Government in marginally reducing the prices of petroleum products.

He wanted the State Government to emulate the West Bengal Government by reducing the prices of petrol to Rs. 52.20 a litre and diesel to Rs. 35.81 a litre respectively.