Lokayukta cops face three-pronged attack from Ashok, Yeddy and court

Cops are clueless about whether to cower to their boss or comply with court order, Yeddy pressure adds to their woes

The Lokayukta police, probing a graft case against home minister R Ashok, are subjected to a three-pronged attack from their boss, his rival camp led by B S Yeddyurappa and the judiciary and look clueless about how to break the chakravyuh.

B S Yeddyurappa was enraged after some BJP leaders, including R Ashok, allegedly celebrated his arrest and made it a point to settle scores against him

If Ashok is sending out signals to the Lokayukta police to go slow on his case, the Yeddyurapp camp as well as the judiciary are mounting pressure on the cops to speed up the investigations.

"We are experiencing pressure from three sides. While the home minister is prodding us to weaken his case, Yeddyurappa is mounting pressure on us to carry out investigations faster. We are simply beleaguered," said a senior Lokayukta police officer.

He added, "If we follow Ashok's instructions and go slow on the probe, we will end up offending Yeddyurappa and the Lokayukta special court, which has set a November 21 deadline for submitting the report in the graft case."

Deadline dread
Earlier this month when the court heard the case, Justice K N Sudindra Rao had reprimanded the police for not submitting the report.

The police, who were supposed to submit the report on November 5, sought two months of time for the job. But court was apparently not very keen on giving so much time to the cops, the judge fixed the November 21 deadline.

Cops frustrated?
Though the status of the probe is not clear, the investigative officer in the case and deputy superintendent of police in the Lokayukta, Abdul Ahad, is understood to have got frustrated and is requesting the authorities to relieve him from the responsibility. Ahad, however, was not available for comments.

"It's not a question of one officer or one case involving a politician. In each and every case where a politician is an accused, the situation is the same. And Ashok's case is more complex as he being the home minister is our boss.
And since he not in the good books of Yeddyurappa, the BJP strongman is browbeating us to take action against the former," said the officer.

Fallen from grace
Ashok, who was initially very close to Yeddyurappa, has fallen out of his grace, thanks to the changed political scenario in the state.

The home minister is now seen as a member of the rival camp, led by Jagadish Shettar, the minister for rural development and panchayat raj.

Yeddy revenge
Yeddyurappa was enraged after a section of BJP leaders, including Ashok, allegedly celebrated his arrest and made it point to settle scores against him.

According to political observers, the scam-scarred leader now wants to give the home minister a taste of his own medicine.

And when the opportunity came in the form of a private complaint against Ashok accusing him of illegally de-notifying land, Yeddyurappa just pounced on it. Soon after coming out of jail on bail last week, he allegedly started mounting pressure on the police to speed up the investigations at the earliest.

Responding to fluidity of the situation, Siddaramiah, leader of the opposition in the assembly, said the Lokayukta police are in a precarious situation investigating the case against the home minister.
"That is why we are demanding his resignation. When the home minister is an accused how can you expect police to be impartial?" he wondered.

Despite the police filing an FIR against him, Ashok refused to step down. He holds transport and home portfolios.

The other side
Contesting the claims that he was pressurising the police to go slow on his case, home minister R Ashok said, "It is not true that I am pressurising the Lokayukta police. They are free to investigate and I am cooperating with them."

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