B S Yeddyurappa walked out of jail yesterday evening after he was granted conditional bail. This has reportedly triggered a wave of anxiety among police officials in the Lokayukta. Officers deputed to arrest the former CM and those investigating the case fear repercussions
The sight of former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa walking out of jail after being granted bail yesterday, appears to have triggered a wave of anxiety among police officials in the Lokayukta. They are reportedly afraid of being targeted for being tough with him when he was arrested.
Yeddyurappa visited Someswara Temple in Halasur after his release
Yeddyurappa was released on bail from the Central Jail at Parappana Agrahara yesterday evening by a single bench of the High Court headed by Justice B V Pinto. Bail has been granted in PCR-4 (Private Complaint Registry) among the five private complaints filed against him.
The bench had given bail in PCR-3 last week, while his application for anticipatory bail in PCR-2, PCR-5 and PCR-6 are pending before the HC. He has secured bail in a case related to irregularities in an irrigation project and the Lokayukta police have filed an FIR against him in the illegal mining case.
Laying low? Emboldened by his release, the Yeddyurappa camp is looking to displace some senior officers in the Lokayukta, however, this may not happen immediately because of the current media glare.
But, the officers are anticipating that pressure will be exerted on them to go easy on multiple graft cases, in which the former CM is the main accused.
Abdul Ahad, Parasanna Raju and Shivashankar officers of deputy superintendent of police rank are under the Yeddyurappa scanner and interestingly, their saviour is none other than JD(S) National President H D Deve Gowda, to who even Yeddyurappa is indebted for small mercies.
A B S Yeddyurappa supporter bursts outside the house of the former chief minister to celebrate his homecoming after 23 days jail stint
"These officers can't be transferred immediately because some of them have been newly appointed and the earlier transfers have been controversial. There is a possibility that they will be harassed," said a police officer on condition of anonymity.
Even before the Lokayukta special court took up the cases against the former CM, Madhukar Shetty, a meritorious officer, went on study leave. Also, after the Lokayukta court began hearing the matter, Additional Director General of Police R K Datta and P K Mohanty, superintendent of police, were transferred.
Mohanty's transfer, in particular, caused embarrassment to the government with the spurt of adverse media reports. The role of the Lokayukta police is significant and the cases are at the evidence stage and the main accused are out on bail.
When the first FIR was filed against Yeddyurappa in the case mentioned in the Lokayukta report on illegal mining at the behest of Governor H R Bhardwaj in August, the former CM had reportedly taken Justice V Shivaraj Patil then Lokayukta to task, even though he was touted to be his own handpicked choice.
Now, in the absence of the Lokayukta, Yeddyurappa's man Justice S B Majjagi , Upa-Lokayukta, is the in-charge and the police officers are naturally feeling the heat.
Tougher task ahead The spotlight is particularly on Prasanaa and Abdul, as they are supervising the investigations in the cases and were the ones asked to arrest Yeddyurappa after his bail plea was rejected.
The task of taking him into custody proved difficult, but Yeddyurappa later surrendered before the court, so as to not allow scope for arrest.
However, Deve Gowda, who reportedly instigated Sirajin Basha and K N Balaraj to file cases against the former CM, is understood to have come to terms with Yeddyurappa, which is seen as one of the reasons the Lokayukta police are breathing a sigh of relief. Having the former prime minister on good terms with them is giving them some comfort.
"Deve Gowda is the baiter of Yeddyurappa and if he can control him because of the latest truce between them, then we get some respite," said an officer. Deve Gowda also has his own interests to protect with regard to the Lokayukta.
A graft case is pending in the Lokayukta court against his eldest son H D Balakishne Gowda and the former PM need their cooperation.
Meanwhile, Yeddyurappa drove straight to the Someswara Temple in Halasur from the jail along with his supporters, including minister M P Renukacharya and legislators H R Viswanath and Nandish Reddy. Later, he was received by hundreds of followers at his Race Course Road residence.
No lights in jail "I observed a dark Deepavali in the jail and am thankful to my well-wishers and supporters for their prayers," said Yeddyurappa.
While the reception he got was a show of his strength, Yeddyurappa's release has also sent a chill down the spines of his rival camp in the BJP.
R Ashok, minister for home and transport, against whom a corruption case is registered in the Lokayukta special court, is particularly under fire for having allegedly schemed against the former CM, and Yeddyurappa was heard saying that he would face the consequences.
K S Eswarappa, state BJP president, H N Ananth Kumar, MP from Bangalore (South), are among others are in the line of fire, while patriarch L K Advani is also said to have given Yeddyurappa reason to retaliate.
The released former chief minister is expected to bargain for the state president position and in case his demands are not met, he will threaten to split the party.
Sources close to him even said that he would organise a rally towards the end of the month in order to show his support base and a fresh political drama would unfold from there on.