‘Santro’ Ravi will face action as per law, says Araga Jnanendra

Home Minister says police were given free hand to trace, apprehend fugitive
‘Santro’ Ravi will face action as per law, says Araga Jnanendra

UDUPI: Confirming the arrest of political shadow player and trafficker KS Manjunath aka ‘Santro Ravi’ from Gujarat, Home Minister Araga Jnanedra on Friday said the police were given a free hand and there was no pressure on them to delay the arrest. The case will proceed as per law, he added.

Four police teams from Ramanagara and Mysuru were hot on his heels, but he escaped thrice in the nick of time, he said.  Ravi is accused of engaging in trafficking for the last 20 years. Defending his statement on arecanut, made during the Belagavi Assembly session that had snowballed into a controversy, Jnanendra said, “I am with arecanut growers, but I had only said the government should not further encourage new arecanut plantations. In Andhra Pradesh, 2,000 acres of arecanut plantations have already started giving yields. If this continues, the price will drop and areca farmers in Malnad and the coast will face problems.

The previous Congress government had submitted an affidavit to the Supreme Court, claiming that there is a carcinogenic substance in arecanut, but we are trying to remove that misgiving by withdrawing the affidavit.”

He said the Enforcement Directorate raided the Congress office at Thirthahalli in Shivamogga district on January 11, which was running from a property owned by Mangaluru blast suspect Mohammed Shariq based on the information provided by the terror accused.

On former minister and Congress leader Kimmane Ratnakar’s statement that the raid was politically motivated, Jnanendra said he is not politically bankrupt to stoop that low. On Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah choosing Kolar to contest the Assembly elections, Jnanendra said the former chief minister has picked a ‘safe’ constituency as he is scared of losing.

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