Santhosh, a BJP member and contractor, was found dead in a hotel room in Udupi, days after he levelled corruption charges against KS Eshwarappa.

File photo of KS Eshwarappa
news Crime Wednesday, April 13, 2022 - 11:03

Karnataka Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister KS Eshwarappa, his aides Basavaraju and Ramesh were booked by the police in Udupi district after the death of Santhosh Patil, a contractor who levelled corruption charges against the senior BJP leader. The Udupi town police registered a case against the three people under sections 34 (Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) and 306 (Abetment of suicide) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), based on a complaint filed by Prashant Patil, Santhosh’s cousin.

Santhosh, a BJP member, was found dead in a hotel room in Udupi on Tuesday morning. He had earlier accused Eshwarappa of corruption and had told TNM that he had not been paid for a project he completed in 2019 as the minister had demanded a 40% commission. The minister not only dismissed his allegations but also filed a defamation suit against him. In his last text message to one of his friends, Santhosh had blamed Eshwarappa for his death.

His family too, has pointed fingers at Eshwarappa for his death by suicide. Speaking to TNM, Prashanth Patil had said, “The family is crying. The man was doing contract work. If the money doesn't come, what does it mean for the state of his mind? It is due to Eshwarappa that he is not with us today. How would anyone feel at that point? Check what all work he has done in Hindalga.”

The Congress launched a scathing attack on the BJP following the contractor’s death, with Rahul Gandhi accusing the Prime Minister and the Karnataka Chief Minister of being complicit in the contractor's death, saying that Santhosh's pleas to them went unanswered.

Read: ‘Book Eshwarappa for murder’: Cong lashes out at BJP govt over contractor's death

Meanwhile, Eshwarappa has turned down the demand of the opposition Congress seeking his resignation and decided to brazen it out. “It is clear that there is no mistake committed from our end and that is why a notice had been served to him. And right after that, he has killed himself. I am learning it through the media. I went to court because I was being defamed. He should have faced it legally. I have nothing to do with his death,” he claimed. Chief Minister Bommai said the police will conduct a thorough and transparent investigation into the contractor's death. He also ruled out any resignations in this regard.

Read: CM Bommai says contractor’s death will be probed, no question of Eshwarappa resigning

With PTI inputs

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