Bengaluru, Sept 4 : The arrest of former Karnataka Minister and Senior Congress leader D K Shivakumar by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in New Delhi yesterday, in connection with Money Laundering issue, led to widespread protests in Southern parts of the state. Violent incidents were reported from Ramanagara and Bengaluru rural districts where protesters pelted stones at KSRTC buses. While 15 of them were damaged in the incident another but was burnt down.
Congress workers and followers of Shivakumar indulged in violence in many parts of the State by burning tyres in the middle of the road. The workers sat on the main roads and shouted slogans against arrest and holding BJP responsible for the arrest. Senior Congress and JD(S) leaders including Mallikarjun Kharge, Siddaramaiah, Dinesh Gundurao of Congress and H D Deve Gowda and H D Kumaraswamy and other condemned the arrest of Shivakumar terming it as ‘political vendetta’ by the BJP government at the centre.
In Kanakapura, the native town of Shivakumar, workers were seen torching parked two wheeler and also a Bandh was observed in the Town. As a precautionary measure liquor stores and bars were closed down in southern parts of the state as protests grew in several places. Agitation were reported in Ramanagaram, Dharwad, Kanakapura, Mysuru and in many parts of the State. Hundreds of agitators were taken into custody by the Police at various agitating spots.
Shivakumar, after being questioning by ED since last Thursday, was arrested last night on the allegation that he was not cooperating with the investigating officers in connection with over Rs 8.5 crore cash recovered from his (Shivakumar) three flats in upscale Sufdarjung Enclave in New Delhi by the Income Tax Department officials in 2017 after IT officials raided several places belonging to the Congress leader in New Delhi, Bengaluru and other places.
He was also accused of money laundering and taking part in havala operations.
According to reports reaching here from Mangaluru, despite pouring rain the Congress workers staged protest condemning the arrest. The miscreants pelted stones on State Public Transport buses in protest against the arrest. Many Congress leaders including former Minister Ramanath Rai, among others participated in the Agitation. Many agitators were taken into custody by the Police to maintain law and order.
In the City, speaking to newsmen, former Prime Minister and JDS National President H D Devegowda said that “it is paining to note that Shivakumar was arrested by the ED. The BJP is misusing autonomous bodies for its political mileage. Karnataka Law Minister J C Madhuswamy said in Belagavi that the arrest was made by agencies that acted according to the law. ‘’ This is not an attempt to make Shivakumar a hero. This is a natural course taken up by the ED which works as per the law. BJP has no hand in his arrest,’’ he said.UNI