Karnataka

Contractor who accused Karnataka Minister of corruption ends life in Udupi

Santosh Patil, contractor and national secretary of Hindu Yuva Vahini, had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi claiming to have invested ₹4 crore on building roads in his village based on the oral instructions of Karnataka RDPR Minister K.S. Eshwarappa.

Santosh Patil, contractor and national secretary of Hindu Yuva Vahini, had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi claiming to have invested ₹4 crore on building roads in his village based on the oral instructions of Karnataka RDPR Minister K.S. Eshwarappa.

A contractor and BJP worker, who had accused Rural Development & Panchayat Raj (RDPR) Minister K.S. Eshwarappa of corruption, was found dead in a lodge in Udupi on April 12.

According to the local police, the contractor Santosh Patil arrived in Udupi along with a couple of his friends Santosh and Prashant on April 11 night. They took two rooms in Shambhavi lodge. While his friends were in one room, Santosh Patil was in the other. Santosh Patil had kept his luggage in the room of his friends.

On April 12 morning, the two friends Santosh and Prashant knocked on the door of Patil’s room, but did not get any response. They returned an hour later to the room and again knocked on the door. When they did not get any response, they summoned the staff of the lodge who opened the door. They found the body of Santosh Patil.

The police said the death was due to consumption of a poisonous substance.

Superintendent of Police N. Vishnuvardhan and other officers visited the lodge. Santosh Patil’s friends and other persons at the lodge were questioned.

Earlier, Belagavi police had launched a search for Santosh Patil after learning that he had sent a message to his friends that he had decided to end his life. In the message sent to his friends on April 11, Santosh Patil claimed that Mr. Eshwarappa is ‘directly responsible’ for his death, and that the Minister should be punished.

“I am going on a journey of no return. I have taken this decision after suppressing all my wants and desires. I have brought some friends with me, after lying to them that we are going on a picnic. But they are not responsible for my death,’’ he said in the message. “I thank all my friends. I also thank the journalists for highlighting my problems,’’ he wrote, according to the police.

He urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi and former Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa to protect his wife and child. “I request Mr. Yediyurappa, a senior leader of the Lingayat community, and anyone who can help my family, to help them out,’’ he wrote.

A team of officers had visited his home in Hindalaga village and spoken to his family. His wife said that he had left home saying he was going for a picnic with his friends Santosh and Prashant on April 11 evening. “He often does that, and I did not think this time was any different,” she told the police.

A few weeks ago, Mr. Patil had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi claiming to have invested ₹4 crore on building roads in his village based on oral instructions of Mr. Eshwarappa. He accused the Minister of lies, corruption and irregularities, and urged Mr. Modi to direct Mr. Eshwarappa to settle his bills.

Mr. Patil, national secretary of Hindu Yuva Vahini, had told The Hindu that he had to offer ₹15 lakh in bribes in the Rural Development Department to get payment for his bills.

Mr. Eshwarappa has filed a case accusing Mr. Patil of defaming him with baseless charges.

In Mangaluru, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said that an investigation is being conducted into the alleged suicide of Santosh Patil whose body was found in a lodge in Udupi.

Video | Karnataka CM on suicide by contractor who accused RDPR Minister K S Eshwarappa of corruption

Speaking to mediapersons on April 12, he said that the government will not interfere in the investigation. Police have been given a free hand to probe into the incident.

An FSL team from Mangaluru went to Udupi as part of the investigation. The government will take a decision based on the report of the police.

To a question, he said that Mr. Eshwarappa had denied Santosh Patil’s allegation of corruption.

Congress MP Rahul Gandhi took up the suicide of the contractor to slam the BJP. He tweeted: ‘BJP’s 40% Commission Govt in Karnataka has claimed the life of their own Karyakarta. The victim’s pleas to the PM went answered. PM & CM are complicit’.


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Printable version | Jun 23, 2022 6:34:35 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/contractor-who-accused-kse-of-corruption-is-missing/article65313670.ece