Court directs police to probe sedition charges against Karnataka minister Eshwarappa

Bengaluru, Mar 31 (PTI) A special court has directed the Doddapete police in Shivamogga district to investigate a complaint against Karnataka Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister K.S. Eshwarappa for charges including sedition and promoting enmity between different groups.

The order, dated March 30, by the special court for trial of cases against sitting as well as former MLAs and MPs, came on a private complaint filed by a Shivamogga resident, Riyaz Ahamed.

The complainant had approached the Doddapete police and higher authorities with his complaint, which was not acted upon. So, he approached the special court with a private complaint.

Ahamed alleges that after the murder of Hindu activist Harsha on February 20 this year, before the police could investigate the case, Eshwarappa and Channabasappa (a Bharatiya Janta Party leader) started propagating publicly that the murder was a result of political and religious causes.

This was done with the intention of creating enmity between Hindus and Muslims and it resulted in rioting on February 21 leading to the loss of public and private property. Apart from sedition and promoting enmity, Ahamed alleges that the actions of Eshwarappa amounted to causing disharmony and outraging religious feelings.

Holding that the complainant had made out grounds to refer the case for investigation, the court in Bengaluru directed the same to the police in Shivamogga.