BELAGAVI: The Udupi police have speeded up investigation into the suicide of Belagavi-based civil contractor Santosh Patil. On Tuesday, the police questioned the president and members of Hindalga Gram Panchayat in Belagavi besides other road contractors, who were assigned to carry out road works at the Hindalga Gram Panchayat by Santosh.
According to sources, Nagesh Mannolkar, president of Hindalga GP, and 12 small-time road contractors who took up “piece works’’ of road development on the instructions of Santosh provided information about their works and their association with the victim to the probe team. According to sources, the contractors working under Santosh had reportedly completed the works at the behest of Patil who was exerting pressure on them to complete road works before Laxmi Jatra in Hindalga. Laxmi Jathra, which is held once every 100 years, was held recently in Hindalga.
After meeting the Udupi police team, Mannolkar said Santosh had given sub-contracts to as many as 12 contractors to complete the development of 108 roads in Hindalga limits. Santosh also had carried out road works worth Rs 50 lakh on his own, Mannolkar added.
It came to light during the interrogation of 12 sub-contractors that Santosh had claimed while assigning works to them that no permission was needed from any authorities to take up works under the RDPR funds, according to sources.Mannolkar asserted before the investigating team that none of the sub-contractors had ever exerted pressure on Santosh for payment.
Meanwhile, KPCC president DK Shivakumar handed over a cheque of Rs 11 lakh to Santosh’s wife Jayashree at the latter’s residence in Badas village near Belagavi.Also, former MLA Prakash Hukkeri, who is also a former MP, gave Rs 5 lakh to Jayashree.