In Swanky Bar, MLA Slaps Cop, Rowdy Grabs Camera

I do not know anything about the issue and the Police Commissioner is the right person to give details — K J George, Home Minister

BANGALORE: Two constables of the Cubbon Park police station were assaulted and abused late on Tuesday, allegedly by an MLA, a rowdy and others.

This is the third case in two weeks of the rich and the powerful obstructing the police from doing their duty.

History-sheeter Somashekar Gowda alias Some Gowda and Vijayanand Kashappanavar, Congress MLA from Hundgud in northern Karnataka, are the two main accused in a complaint filed by the constables. The MLA was celebrating his birthday at Skyye, a lounge bar at UB City that describes itself as “the high point of the city’s night life”.

The station received a call around 1 am that Skyye continued to remain open way beyond the 11.30 pm deadline. The constables reached the place at 1.08 am, according to the FIR.

“The usual protocol in such cases is to film the scene and provide information to the inspector, who initiates action to revoke the bar licence,” a senior policeman said.

Birthday Party

About 10-15 guests were being served drinks inside the glass and steel structure. Kiran, one of the constables, began filming them, but was stopped by Gowda, who allegedly tried to grab his mobile phone, which fell to the ground.

While an argument raged between the two, Vijayanand Kashappanavar stepped in and allegedly slapped the constable, all the while abusing him in foul language.

Prashanth Nayak, the other constable, rushed to help Kiran, who had by then fallen to the ground. Seven of the guests, including the MLA and the rowdy, continued to hurl abuses and threaten them, according to the FIR.

Call to Station

Senior policemen said the drunken group also called up the station and abused the inspector on duty. 

After getting themselves medically examined, the constables returned to the station around 3:15 am and registered the complaint.

Senior policemen collected evidence from the CCTV cameras before allowing the FIR to be registered. “The staff at the bar also explained what had happened,” a source said.

The MLA’s group had arrived at the bar around 10 pm, according to bar employees. “They were reminded of the 11.30 pm deadline, but Gowda dropped names, and forced them to keep the place open,” a policeman said. The Cubbon Park police have registered a case under Section 353 of the IPC (obstructing a public servant from doing his duty).

MLA Denies Charge

First-time MLA Vijayanand Kashappanavar denied his involvement in the brawl. Speaking to Express, the son of former minister S Kashappanavar admitted his family and friends were celebrating his birthday at Skyye Bar on Tuesday night.

“We were there for dinner, like hundreds of others. How fair it is to blame me for a brawl just because I am an MLA?” he asked.

Denying reports that he and his associates had assaulted policemen, he said, “I left around 11.30 pm after the dinner.

I only objected to policemen taking my pictures.” He said he had not slapped anyone. “My associates were not involved either, as they left along with me,” he claimed.

No Arrests Yet

Even a day after the incident, neither Gowda nor the MLA have been arrested. Senior policemen said they saw no need to make arrests immediately. “According to the Supreme Court, we have three years to investigate and make arrests if the guilt is proved. We arrest people named in FIRs only if we think they might obstruct the investigation,” he said.

Keep Deadline, Footage: DCP

A worried police department called managers of bars and restaurants, hotels and malls for a meeting on Wednesday evening. A manager said the DCP Ravikanthe Gowda, who was visibly upset, spoke to them about the Skyye incident. “We were told to follow excise regulations, instal CCTVs if we still hadn’t, and ensure the footage was clear,” he said. The DCP asked the managers to inform the police if customers refused to leave, or created a nuisance. Forty-two establishments participated in the meeting at the Cubbon park police station.

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