TAMIL NADU

Son not involved in murder case: Minister

BIJAPUR, DEC. 30. The Minister for Agriculture Marketing, Mr. B.S.Patil Sasanur, has refuted the allegation that one of his sons has been involved in the murder of a Janata Dal(U) member at Sasanur in Basavanabagewadi taluk.

At a press conference here on Sunday, he said the Janata Dal(U) leaders were making a false allegation to tarnish his image.

Refusing to attribute political motives to the December 21 murder of Hanumantharaya Balappa Choudhary, he said it appeared the assailants killed him due to personal animosity.

There was no truth in the charge that his son, Mr. Somanagouda, who was with him in Bangalore between December 16 and 22, led the attack. Both of them visited the village with a senior police official two days after the incident.

Denying that he had influenced the police to save the culprits, Mr. Sasanur said his opponents were dragging the names of his family members into the case to gain political mileage. The Opposition had indulged in false propaganda that cases of political harassment were on the rise at Sasanur. If at all any such incident took place in the village, it was during the tenure of the previous Janata Dal government. Forty-two criminal cases, most of them against Congressmen, including him and his family members, were booked in the village during the period. Almost all the cases were found to be false in the court. However, after the last Assembly election, only four to five criminal cases were reported in the village. None of them had a political background. These facts revealed who were indulging in political vindictiveness, he said, and added that the Opposition members should come forward to play a constructive role in the development of the district.

On the drying up of the Bheema, he said Maharashtra would be requested to release water from the Ujani Dam. On his return to Bangalore, he would take up the issue with the Minister for Water Resources, Mr. H.K.Patil, he added.

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