Karnataka: FIR against MLC, aides in BJP worker stabbing incident

Legislator Hattiholi, brother of minister Laxmi Hebbalkar, denies involvement; MLA Ramesh Jarkiholi says cops under pressure 
Image used for representational purposes.
Image used for representational purposes.

BELAGAVI: The incident of stabbing of BJP leader Prithvi Singh in Belagavi allegedly by the associates of MLC Channaraj Hattiholi, who is the brother of Women and Child Development Laxmi Hebbalkar, took a twist on Tuesday with the Belagavi police registering an FIR against the MLC  and his associates Saddam and Sujit Jadhav.

Prithvi is a close associate of former minister and Gokak MLA Ramesh Jarkiholi. On Monday, Prithvi was admitted to a private hospital in Belagavi after he sustained stab wounds. Later, Karnataka BJP president BY Vijayendra and several other party members visited him at the hospital demanding an investigation into the incident and the arrest of Hattiholi and his aides. 

The APMC police in Belagavi registered the FIR based on a complaint filed by Jasvir, who is the son of Prithvi. According to the complaint, Prithvi’s house in Jayanagar in Belagavi was leased to Hattiholi during the 2018 Assembly election campaign but he did not abide by the lease agreement.

“After I joined BJP, I was elected to the state SC Morcha in the party unanimously. The relationship between Laxmi Hebbalkar and me has not been good since then. I had received  threat calls after I joined the BJP. I submitted a complaint to the police commissioner on February 16, 2021. MLC Channaraj Hattiholi had insulted me verbally on December 4. Also, his associate Saddam attacked and stabbed my hand on Monday,’’ the complaint adds.  Meanwhile, the black car which was found parked near Prithvi’s house in the CCTV camera footage was recovered by the police.

Even as Home Minister Dr G Parameshwara said in Belagavi on Tuesday that the police were investigating the matter to apprehend the culprits who stabbed Prithvi, Leader of Opposition in the Assembly R Ashoka said several such incidents were being reported in Karnataka in recent times.

Speaking to media outside Suvarna Vidhana Soudha on Tuesday, Ashok condemned the stabbing and said the Congress involved in goondagiri whenever it came to power in the state. “We have seen the violent incidents in Shivamogga as well. It seems all such violent incidents are being sponsored by the Congress. Already, state BJP chief BY Vijayendra met Prithvi (in hospital) and I am also going there. The Congress should initiate action against the guilty,” he added.

Meanwhile, Parameshwara said that he was aware of the attack on the BJP leader and that he has directed the officials to investigate it. “I have asked the officials to gather information by scanning CCTV camera footage. I will speak on the incident once I get all the details from the officials about it,’’ he added.

‘DELAY’ IN FIR QUESTIONED
BJP Gokak MLA Ramesh Jarkiholi said the police in Belagavi was under pressure from “Hyderabad” to not register an FIR in the stabbing incident. “An ADGP rank police officer from Bengaluru is also putting pressure on the local police to not register the FIR,” Ramesh said, after visiting Prithvi in hospital. “FIR has not been registered even 24 hours after the stabbing. The police are working irresponsibly. If police continue to neglect the investigation, we will approach the High Court or the CBI,” he added.

MLC denies involvement
MLC Channaraj Hattiholi has denied the involvement of his associates in the stabbing incident. “I am not so keen on doing politics by resorting to such violent attacks. A conspiracy is being hatched against me. My associates went to ask for some documents from Prithvi Singh as the house he is staying in now was my office earlier. The police should conduct a detailed probe. All the things that Prithvi claims are far from the truth. In the CCTV footage which has gone viral, Prithvi is wearing a different dress but he was found in a white shirt with blood stains in another video footage which he released. He is tarnishing my image,” Hattiholi said.

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