Karnataka cop's suicide: Protest rallies held for minister's ouster

Bengaluru: Opposition BJP on Tuesday stepped up its demand for the resignation of Karnataka Minister K.J. George for allegedly abetting the suicide of police officer through protest rallies held in various parts of the state. Even as the opposition Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) lawmakers also sought George's resignation in the state assembly here, hundreds of students, social activists and citizens joined BJP cadres in the protest rallies against the state government at Madikeri, Mysuru, Tumakuru, Hubballi, Belagavi and Bidar. George was the Home Minister till October 31, 2015, before he was made Bengaluru Development Minister and the Congress' state unit president G. Parameshwara replaced him. "We will continue to protest till George resigns or the chief minister (Siddaramaiah) sacks him, as Ganapathi had named him in his dying declaration along with two IPS officers for harassing him and forcing to take his own life," BJP's state unit president and former chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa told reporters here. Mangaluru Deputy Suprintendent of Police (DSP) M.K. Ganapthi, 51, in an interview to a news channel hours before his body was found hanging in a lodge at Madikeri in Kodagu district blamed the trio for forcing to take his own life. The two IPS officers are Additional Director General of Police, Intelligence A.M. Prasad and Lokayukta (Ombudsman) inspector general of police Pronab Mohanty. The opposition parties also demanded the suspension of Prasad and Mohanty till the CID probe was completed and the inquiry was handed over to the CBI. Accusing the chief minister of protecting the trio, JD-S leader and former chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy asked the government why an FIR was not filed against the trio even after Ganapathi's family filed a complaint in Madikeri police station on Monday. "As per the Supreme Court's ruling, the accused could be booked under Section 306 of the IPC, as Ganapathi had named them in his interview, which should be treated as his dying declaration under section 32(1) of the IPC," Kumaraswamy said in the house during the discussion. In a suo motu statement on Monday, Parameshwara said a case of unnatural death was registered under Section 174 of the IPC as Ganapathi had committed suicide. Refuting the opposition's charges, George said he would resign if the chief minister directed him to do so and asked the BJP and JD-S to produce evidence of him harassing Ganapathi.