BENGALURU: Ahead of his crucial court appearance on Friday, Congress leader DK Shivakumar on Thursday seemed a broken man. In the custody of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) till Friday, Shivakumar had to be rushed to the Ram Manohar Lohia hospital with symptoms of high blood pressure and diarrhoea. Reportedly when the news of his daughter’s interrogation by the ED reached him, he collapsed.
According to sources close to the family, the move by the ED to summon his daughter Aisshwarya left him emotionally shattered as well. Aisshwarya appeared before the ED on Thursday and returned to Bengaluru after her questioning ended after several hours. Her father meanwhile, was administered medicines and put on intravenous drips.
Sources close to the Vokkaliga leader said that they were shocked to see the dishevelled condition of Shivakumar and took the court permission to give him a shaving kit. “We gave him a shaving kit a couple of days back,” added a Shivakumar associate.
Aisshwarya’s questioning according to sources, was on the alleged hawala transactions and benami assets. The 22-year-old, a trustee in the family-run Global College, was also questioned about a business trip to Singapore in 2017. She was also asked to clarify certain statements that Shivakumar had made to the ED.
Shivakumar, meanwhile, has maintained that the Rs 8.6 crore cash (approximate), which was recovered by the Income Tax Department in August 2017 from four properties in Delhi and Karnataka, did not belong to him. “Shivakumar has told the ED that the cash didn’t belong to him and he had no knowledge of its presence or source in the apartment in Safdarjung Enclave,” said the source.
The family was deeply disturbed by another development as some vernacular media carried what they claimed were the questions posed to her as well as her answers in their bulletin. Interrogation proceedings are a closely guarded secret.
On Friday, Shivakumar will be produced in court and sources said that the ED could file a remand application seeking custody for five more days. However, if the court declines, then there is a possibility that Shivakumar could be sent to judicial custody, which means that he could become the other high profile Congress leader in Tihar jail after P Chidambaram.
Former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and KPCC president Dinesh Gundu Rao, accompanied by other leaders, went to the hospital to see Shivakumar on Thursday evening. Their mobile phones were taken away and they could see Shivakumar from a distance but did not get the chance to speak to him as ED officials insisted on the court’s clearance.
Let law take its course, says Deputy Chief Minister
Deputy Chief Minister CN Ashwath Narayan on Thursday said that the Congress should not accuse the BJP of misusing central agencies and should let the law take its own course. He said that people should not be misguided using caste factors and asked leaders to stop giving a caste tint to the issue.