Bangalore, May 21: Four people have been detained in connection with the murderous attack on a Karnataka officer who is believed to have exposed land scams in house-building cooperative societies, state Home Minister R. Ashoka said Monday.
S.P. Mahantesh, a Karnataka Administrative Service (KAS) officer, died in a hospital Sunday after being brutally assaulted on the night of May 15 in Bangalore city centre.
“Four persons have been taken into custody in connection with the assault on Mahantesh,” the home minister told reporters here after holding meeting with senior police officers to discuss the progress in the case.
Declining to give further details of the detained people, he said they were being interrogated.
Mahantesh, 48, was deputy director in the state cooperative department’s audit division. He is believed to have brought to light several irregularities in land allotment to a number of housing societies in Bangalore and site allotment by these societies to politicians and senior bureaucrats.
Though Mahantesh’s family has been demanding that the attack be probed by the state’s crime investigation department (CID), Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda said there was no need for it as Bangalore police were making progress in the case.
Gowda and law minister S. Suresh Kumar faced some embarrassment Sunday afternoon when they went to Mahantesh’s house in middle-income locality of Chamarajpet in south Bangalore. His relatives, colleagues and local people raised slogans against the delay in arresting the attackers.
They were also angry over the fact that not a senior official or political leader had visited Mahantesh and his family when he was battling for life in the hospital.
Mahantesh is survived by his parents, wife and two daughters, aged 10 and 8.
Housing societies in Karnataka have become scandal-dens in land procurement and allotment of sites. Over 100 of them, 80 in Bangalore alone, are now under probe following complaints of large-scale irregularities.