Karnataka: Month on, no police official questioned | Bengaluru News – Times of India


BENGALURU: The BJP government came to power with a promise not only to wipe out drug menace in Karnataka, but also to end the alleged politician-police nexus with the drug mafia.
In March, home minister Basavaraj Bommai, while replying to a question in the legislative assembly, had said Karnataka has declared a war on drugs and they are in the process of identifying some black sheep in the police department supporting drug related activities.

It has been a month since cops have cracked down on the drug syndicate, but no senior officials from the police force have been questioned on how the trade flourished in their jurisdiction without their knowledge.
Former chief minister HD Kumaraswamy said investigators should get to the root of the problem rather than targeting small-time actors. “Investigators should go after investors in dance bars, which are a haven for drug peddling. The investors are none other than senior IPS and IAS officers,” he alleged.
“There are some microbreweries too on Vittal Mallya Road. What needs to be probed is who has put money in such dance bars and microbreweries. There will be shocking revelations,” said Kumaraswamy, who once owned a flat on that road. His statement also indicated that Central Crime Branch (CCB) police were under pressure from top officials to not delve into links between politicians, police and the drug mafia.
Some MLAs, representing constituencies outside Bengaluru, shared information on drug-related activities during the ongoing monsoon session, while insisting that it cannot happen without police patronage. They said the real culprits will be known only if there is an investigation by an independent agency, minus local police.
“Only catching petty peddlers and sparing the big fish makes it clear that the ‘drugbusiness’ has thrived under political and police patronage. It is simply not plausible that someone will indulge in the drug business without the knowledge of police officials. And police officials will not approve of such activities if there is no consent from politicians,” said an MLA from North Karnataka.
“Going after the big names, including those from the political class and police, is the only parameter to measure the seriousness of a government tackling this issue. Otherwise, it’s just a waste of time and energy,’’ said BJP MLA Aravind Bellad.
Cases given silent burial

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Many recalled past cases of drunk driving, accidents and brawls that got buried as they involved the kith and kin of VIPs, including police officials. They were suspected to be instances of drug abuse.
Education minister S Suresh Kumar too acknowledges that there is drug menace around leading educational institutions, but some police officials themselves admit that it cannot happen without police patronage. Bengaluru police commissioner Kamal Pant said officials are leaving no stone unturned to address the issue and that they have even been asked to look into links between police and drug peddlers for suitable action.



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Sagar Biswas

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