news Saturday, May 23, 2015 - 05:30
In the last few days, local media has been bombarding readers with reports of alleged involvement of top police officials in a lottery scam in Karnataka. The Central Investigation Department (CID) which has been probing the case, submitted a preliminary report of its findings on Friday to the Chief Secretary of the State, Kaushik Mukherjee. In a latest development, ACP Alok Kumar has been suspended. What is the scam? Despite single-digit lottery being banned in the state from 2007, the business has been thriving in many districts of Karnataka. Pari Rajan, the alleged kingpin in the illegal lottery racket was arrested by the police earlier this month from Bangarapet in Kolar district. After being apprised of the alleged nexus between police officials and Rajan, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah handed over the case to the CID on May 9. He also ordered for the suspension of Superintendent of Police (Lottery Squad) Dharanesh for his failure in tackling the lottery racket. Who are the officials in the dock? Following this, the CID ordered for the Call Record Details (CDR) of all the officials that were named by Rajan during his interrogation. On examining the records, the officials finalised the list of police officials who were in regular contact with Rajan and submitted a preliminary report to the government. The interim report allegedly mentions the name of Additional Commissioner of Police (ACP) Alok Kumar on two grounds: a) prohibiting a government official from discharging his duties and, b) the two had exchanged 151 calls over a certain period of time. Apparently, the name of suspended SP Dharanesh also figures in the list of officials whom Rajan was in contact with.  According to a report in the Bangalore Mirror, Alok Kumar had tried to stall the arrest of Rajan when a sub-inspector went to the Rajan’s residence to arrest him.                                               Apart from two officials, there is no clarity on how many high-ranking police officials are involved; one report claims that two ADGPs, three IGPs, two retired DG&IGPs along with 30 police officers were named in the CID report. Another report claims that monetary transaction also took place between an IGP-rank officer and Rajan. Responding to the allegations against him, Alok Kumar has told Bangalore Mirror that he did not have a “hint that he (Rajan) was in some illegal trade”. He even said that Rajan was a “well-wisher” whom he had known for two years.  “If I am called for any questioning, I will cooperate with the investigating agency," he was quoted as saying by Deccan Chronicle. News channel News 9 tweeted quoting JD(S) leader H D Kumarswamy as saying that lottery scam amounts to Rs. 2000 crore. HD Kumaraswamy says lottery scam in #Karnataka amounts to Rs 2,000 crore. Kumaraswamy slams Cong govt for not taking action in lottery scam — NEWS9 (@NEWS9TWEETS) May 23, 2015