Kumaraswamy rakes up bus burning case, targets BJP govt
Bangalore: JD-S leader and former Karnataka
Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy on Saturday demanded that the state
government challenge a local court's order acquitting the
accused in the 2007 bus burning case, in which two persons
were charred to death.
The state unit president of JD-S alleged the BJP
government had "weakened" the case during the trial and made
the "witnesses turn hostile".
Kumaraswamy said two persons were burnt alive after
Bajrang Dal and RSS workers allegedly set fire to a Tamil Nadu
bus on September 18, 2007 on Hosur Road in protest against
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi's statement on Lord
Ram during the Sethusamudram project controversy.
Two cases were booked at the time -- one against those
who allegedly torched the bus, and another in connection with
an attack on the house of Karunanidhi's daughter Selvi here.
The Lok Sabha member said Ganesh Udupa, one of the main
accused in the case, is a close relative of the then Home
Minister V S Acharya. "The BJP government has misused power",
Kumaraswamy alleged, seeking answers on the issue from Chief
Minister B S Yeddyurappa, Acharya, who is now Higher Education
Minister, and Law Minister S Suresh Kumar.
He said that even more a year after the verdict, the
state government had yet to challenge the acquittal in a
higher court. Even the TN government was "silent" on the
issue, and Selvi had chosen not to give evidence, he claimed.
"Truth has to come out," Kumaraswamy said and sought a
CBI probe into it by reopening case and challenging the
verdict in the Supreme Court. Kumaraswamy said the issue would
be raised in the Karnataka Legislative Assembly on Monday next
through an adjournment motion. He appealed to the opposition
Congress to extend support to JD-S in this context.
Meanwhile, Kumaraswamy disapproved of the debate on
whether Chief Mentor of Infosys Technologies N R Narayana
Murthy had the credentials to inaugurate the World Kannada
Conference to be held in Belgaum from March 11.
Ignoring criticisms aimed at Murthy questioning his
contribution towards Kannada, he said it was "irrelevant" who
would inaugurate the meet.
The state government has, amidst criticism from several
Kannada organisations, already declared its firm intention to
stick with its plan of Murthy inaugurating the function.
Kumaraswamy said it was during his tenure that the
decision to hold the Conference in Belgaum was taken, though
Yeddyurappa was pushing for the case of Shimoga.
Kumaraswamy said Belgaum was chosen as the venue for the
meet as "Maharashtra's behaviour had to be stopped
completely". (Maharashtra claims that Belgaum belongs to it,
and had been repeatedly raising the issue).