contractor death Karnataka

Death of contractor: Karnataka Minister and aides booked for abetment to suicide

Santosh Patil, civil contractor and national secretary of Hindu Yuva Vahini, who has accused RDPR Minister K S Eshwarappa of corruption. His body was found in a lodge in Udupi on April 12, 2022.

Santosh Patil, civil contractor and national secretary of Hindu Yuva Vahini, who has accused RDPR Minister K S Eshwarappa of corruption. His body was found in a lodge in Udupi on April 12, 2022.

The Udupi Town police booked Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister K.S. Eshwarappa, his two aides Basavaraj and Ramesh, and others for abetment to suicide (Section 306 of Indian Penal Code) of Santosh K. Patil.

The 36-year-old contractor from Hindalga in Belagavi district was found dead in a room of Shambhavi Lodge in Udupi on April 12.

The case was booked following a complaint by the contractor’s brother Prashant Goudappa Patil who came to Udupi on April 12 night along with other members of the family of the deceased.

In the complaint, Prashant said Hindalga gram panchayat members and a religious leader met Mr. Eshwarappa in Bengaluru in connection with pending work on road, sewage and other development projects that were taken up for the impending annual fair of Laxmidevi temple in 2020-21. Mr. Eshwarappa asked the gram panchayat members to go ahead with the projects and assured grant of money for the same.

Santosh Patil and other contractors went ahead with the work, which were worth more than ₹4 crore, by investing their own money.

Memorandum submitted to Governor by Congress on April 13, 2022.

Memorandum submitted to Governor by Congress on April 13, 2022.

Memorandum submitted to Governor by Congress on April 13, 2022.

Memorandum submitted to Governor by Congress on April 13, 2022.

Memorandum submitted to Governor by Congress on April 13, 2022.

Memorandum submitted to Governor by Congress on April 13, 2022.

Later, when approached for payment of their bills, Mr. Eshwarappa’s aides Basavaraj and Ramesh allegedly demanded commission of 40%.

Santosh Patil filed a complaint through the contractors’ association and also gave a statement to mediapersons about the alleged demand of commission by Mr. Eshwarappa and his aides.

On April 11, Santosh Patil sent messages to a few of his friends holding Mr .Eshwarappa and his aides responsible for ending his life, Mr. Prashant said in his complaint.

Earlier, the Udupi Town police had registered a case of unnatural death under Section 176 of IPC.

A Congress delegation led by KPCC president D K Shivakumar and former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah submitted a memorandum to Karnataka Governor Thaawarchand Gehlot on RDPR Minister K S Eshwarappa’s alleged involvement in the suicide of contractor Santosh Patil, at Raj Bhavan in Bengaluru on April 13, 2022.

A Congress delegation led by KPCC president D K Shivakumar and former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah submitted a memorandum to Karnataka Governor Thaawarchand Gehlot on RDPR Minister K S Eshwarappa’s alleged involvement in the suicide of contractor Santosh Patil, at Raj Bhavan in Bengaluru on April 13, 2022.

Congress leaders meet Governor

A delegation of Congress leaders, led by Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president D.K. Shivakumar, Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah, and Leader of Opposition in Karnataka Legislative Council B.K. Hariprasad, met Governor Thaawarchand Gehlot. They submitted a memorandum demanding that Mr. Eshwarappa be dropped from the Cabinet. They have also demanded a judicial inquiry into the incident.

Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah, KPCC president D K Shivakumar and others addressing mediapersons after submitting the memorandum to Governor Thaawarchand Gehlot on RDPR Minister K S Eshwarappa’s alleged involvement in the suicide of contractor Santosh Patil, in Bengaluru on April 13, 2022.

Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah, KPCC president D K Shivakumar and others addressing mediapersons after submitting the memorandum to Governor Thaawarchand Gehlot on RDPR Minister K S Eshwarappa’s alleged involvement in the suicide of contractor Santosh Patil, in Bengaluru on April 13, 2022. | Photo Credit: SUDHAKARA JAIN

In the memorandum, the party said: “The said incident is a tip of the iceberg with regard to corruption in Karnataka. A innocent person who had blindly believed Mr. Eshwarappa and his allies, and carried out more than 108 works estimated at ₹4 crore without work orders from the authorities, and he became victim of vicious circumstances. Mr. Eshwarappa and his allies are mainly responsible for the suicide of Mr. Santosh K. Patil, which is nothing but an offence punishable as per provisions of Section 306 of IPC and also under provisions of Section 13 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, for demanding commission from the deceased for the payment of said works.”

Video | Karnataka CM on abetment of suicide case against RDPR Minister K S Eshwarappa in connection with death of contractor

Brother demands arrest of Minister

Soon after their arrival in Udupi on April 12 night, Prashant and a relative demanded the arrest of Mr. Eshwarappa and his two aides. “They harassed my brother. Without action against them, we will not take custody of my brother’s body,” Mr. Prashant told reporters.

The Udupi Town police had sealed room no. 207 of the lodge where Santosh Patil’s body was found on April 12 while waiting for the arrival of his family members. Santosh had checked into the lodge with his friends Prashant Shetty and Santosh Medappa on April 11 evening.

BJP MLA demands probe

Bharatiya Janata Party national general secretary and Chikkamagaluru MLA C.T. Ravi has urged Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai to order a comprehensive inquiry into the death of contractor Santosh K. Patil.

Speaking to mediapersons in Chikkamagaluru on April 13, Mr. Ravi said he had spoken to RDPR Minister K.S. Eshwarappa when Santosh Patil had written to the party’s leaders complaining about the delay in getting payment for the works he claimed to have executed. “I had spoken to the Minister on this issue. He had told me that money could not be granted to him (Santosh Patil), as the department had not issued a work order. It is against the rules to release grants without following the set procedure,” he said.

Mr. Ravi said the death was unfortunate and a comprehensive investigation would bring out the truth. “It would be necessary to find out who prompted the contractor to take up the civil works without official approval,” he said.


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Printable version | Jun 25, 2022 8:52:05 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/death-of-contractor-karnataka-minister-and-aides-booked-for-abetment-to-suicide/article65316941.ece