BENGALURU: Police are still clueless about the whereabouts of L Somanna alias ‘MLC’ Somanna, accused of cheating, who escaped from police custody on Thursday. The police, who have launched a manhunt to trace him, have checked for him in several districts. The police, however, managed to recover two kg of gold jewellery that he had pledged with various pawn brokers.
Somanna, who was cheating people by claiming that he was an MLC and was contesting from Molakalmur constituency in the upcoming assembly election, was arrested by the Basaveshwaranagar police based on a complaint filed by Dheeraj D N, a jewellery shop owner. Somanna had cheated him after taking gold jewellery worth `94 lakh claiming that he had organised mass marriages in Mysuru district and was donating the gold to 51 couples.
The police had taken him to Chitradurga as his interrogation had revealed that he had pledged gold with pawn brokers there.
On Thursday afternoon, he was taken to Mahalakshmi Jewellers in Chitradurga, where he had allegedly pledged the gold. While he was handcuffed, he asked the police for permission to go to the toilet and only one constable accompanied him. He then pushed the constable and escaped.
“Since the moment he escaped, our teams are on a lookout for him. Almost every lodge in Chitradurga has been checked and the same day, the teams searched for him in the neighbouring districts. We have found that he has been changing places to ensure that the police won’t get to him. Also, he has not contacted any of his family members or friends so far. This has made our task a bit difficult,” a police source said.
The police are still wondering how Somanna managed to get rid of the handcuff. “It is very difficult to break the handcuff and the only thing we suspect is that he might have taken the help of some duplicate key maker to remove it. It is also sad that people who have seen him wearing handcuffs have not informed the police about him,” the source added.
It is learnt that Somanna has three houses and his wife and children, who were living in Sahakaranagar, have vacated the house after he was arrested in the last week of March. “Though he is managing to evade the police, we are confident that he will be nabbed soon,” the source said.
Somanna had prepared to contest polls
During the investigation, it was found that Somanna was serious about contesting from Molakalmur constituency in Chitradurga. “He had made all out efforts to prepare a vote base for him there. He belonged to the backward Nayak community and thus had decided to contest from Molakalmur, where there are more than 40,000 voters of the community.
He had also organised events like distribution of free sarees and free meals. If he had not got caught, he would have definitely tried his luck in politics,” the police added. Further, the probe had revealed that Somanna had cheated 2-3 persons during the previous assembly polls by promising them that he had spoken to former minister Sriramulu, who then had founded BSR Congress party, and he would help them get ticket to contest from the party. “He had collected over `1 crore from each of them and had stopped responding to their calls. But no one came forward to file a police complaint,” the police said.