‘Accident, not an attempt on Anantkumar Hegde’s life’: Cops on minister’s claims

The Union Minister alleged that there was an assassination attempt after a lorry rammed into one of the vehicles of his convoy late on Tuesday.
‘Accident, not an attempt on Anantkumar Hegde’s life’: Cops on minister’s claims
‘Accident, not an attempt on Anantkumar Hegde’s life’: Cops on minister’s claims
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The police in Karnataka has "prima facie" dismissed allegations of a deliberate assassination attempt on Union Minister Anantkumar Hegde late on Tuesday night.

Speaking to TNM, Haveri Superintendent of Police, K Parashuram, said, “We are still investigating every angle. But prima facie, it seems like this was an accident. We have registered a case of accident and nothing else as of now.”

The SP, addressing reporters, attributed the accident to a wrong turn taken by the driver.

“The police car, which was escorting the minister, was hit by an Ashok Leyland 6-wheeler lorry. ASI Prabhu Talawar and driver Umesh sustained minor injuries. The lorry driver, Nassir Ahmed Mafiz, on the night of April 15 was coming from NR Pura…He meant to drive through Ranebennuru, Halageri, Tumminakatti, Honnali and Shimogga. While travelling, he got a call from someone in his family and instead of going through Halageri bypass, he drove through the Halageri overbridge,” the SP said.

He added, “Then, he realised he had taken a wrong turn. He travelled 100 metres to the service road. While he was turning the wrong way, the minister's pilot vehicle was hit by the lorry.”    

The driver of the lorry is being questioned by police and his phone call records are being scrutinized, he said.

According to reports, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah also dismissed the incident, saying it  could be just another accident. He however, assured the minister that a through investigation will be carried out.

On Twitter, the minister alleged that  a speeding lorry had attempted to hit his vehicle when his convoy was passing through Halageri in Ranebennur taluk of Haveri. It was only because of the high speed at which his convoy was travelling that the lorry hit the escort vehicle and not him, he alleged.

The minister also alleged that the lorry had been parked on the road horizontally and, as soon as his convoy approached, the lorry started moving in the wrong direction and tried to ram into his car but hit one of the other vehicles in his convoy instead.

He also identified the lorry driver and posted his photo in his tweet.

“A deliberate attempt on my life seems to have been executed just now. A lorry on NH, near Halageri in Ranebennur taluk of Haveri district has hit my escort vehicle which tried to hit my vehicle in the first instance. Since our vehicle was in top speed we escaped the hit,” tweeted Hegde.

He said that this led to one of his staff member to suffer “severe injuries in the form of shoulder fracture”.

Karnataka Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy had assured that an investigation will be carried out to ascertain the facts of the case.

“Anantkumar Hegde is a central minister of the state. When he makes such claims, we have to take it seriously. I have asked IG Sharat Chandra to go to the spot and give me a report. Whatever the investigation may reveal, but it is our job to probe it and we have done that. Anantkumar Hegde and Pratap Simha do all this business on Twitter and Facebook and all these platforms. But we cannot ignore what a Union Minister of State says, so we are probing the incident,” Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy told TNM.

Meanwhile, BJP MP Pratap Simha  tweeted, " MR. @CMofKarnataka if u have guts, face us politically. If u try to finish @AnantkumarH in others means, we will hit the streets n none can save u. "

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