Police assure protection to Karnataka Lokayukta officials


Bangalore: Karnataka Police Saturday assured protection to Lokayukta officials investigating illegal mining in the state, in view of the reported involvement of Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa and four of his ministers, among others, in the scam.

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“Lokayukta asked us that some officials should be given protection and we have assured that it will be provided,” Bangalore Police Commissioner B.G. Jyothiprakash Mirji told reporters here.

Mirji, who met Lokayukta N. Santosh Hegde, said there was no discussion on the nature of threats to the officials.

Asked whether there was threat to the life of the officials who investigated and prepared the report, Mirji said: “We were only asked to give protection and we have agreed.”

Hegde is to submit his around 5,000-page report next week and has told media that he has sought protection to five officials involved in investigating and preparing the document.

Most of the contents of the report have been leaked to the media. The report names Yeddyurappa, four of his ministers, former chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, Congress Rajya Sabha member Anil Lad and about 500 officials for their involvement in the scam.

In a related development, Congress leaders and members in Karnataka held a rally in Bangalore, demanding immediate resignation of Yeddyurappa for his involvement in illegal mining and also for allegedly tapping Hedge’s phone.

“The tapping of Lokayukta’s phone could not have taken place without Yeddyurappa’s knowledge and permission,” state Congress chief G. Parameshwara said, addressing the rally.

Kumaraswamy, who is state Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) president, said at a separate press meet that his phone was being tapped since Yeddyurappa came to office in May 2008.