Congress workers in Karnataka have unleashed violence after one of the most influential leaders in state, MLA DK Shivakumar was arrested by Enforcement Directorate last night for his alleged involvement in money laundering case. The protestors set buses on fire and schools and colleges are closed as precautionary measure.
A vehicle and a bus was vandalised by protestors while another vehicle’s glass was damaged. Karnataka Congress had also called for a statewide protest today against Shivakumar’s arrest. As reported by Republic TV, highways in Karnataka are blocked as supporters resort to violence. Protesters in Bangalore rural, Mandya and Ramnagar districts have reportedly blocked Bangalore-Mysore highway and the BJP has asked its leaders to not make any statement on his arrest. As per reports over ten buses have been torched till now and even stones were pelted.
Congress has called the arrest ‘politically motivated’ and ‘unfortunate’. DK Shivakumar will be produced in court at 2 PM later today where the ED will seek his custody.
The alleged money laundering by DK Shivakumar came to light after raids by the tax officials on August 2, 2017, on Shivakumar’s residence in New Delhi, which led to the seizure of unaccounted cash worth Rs.8.59 crore without evidence of its source of income.
The tax agencies had filed cases against Shivakumar and four other persons associated with him under Sections 277 and 278 of the Income Tax Act, 1961 and Sections 120(B), 193 and 199 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Basing on the charge sheet filed by the I-T officials, the ED had last year booked a money laundering and hawala transaction case in September last year.
Along with DK Shivakumar, his business associates Sachin Narayan, Sunil Kumar Sharma (owners of Sharma Travels) were also booked and Anjaneya Hanumant and Rajendran, the employees of Karnataka Bhavan in New Delhi, where the cash was found, have also been named as the co-accused.
Rajendran is a caretaker of Karnataka Bhavan and also works for Sharma, the proprietor of Sharma Travels, which runs a luxury bus service. According to the ED, DK Shivakumar and SK Sharma had set up a hawala network to launder money from New Delhi to various parts of the country. The ED suspects that Hanumanthaiah, the employee of Karnataka Bhavan, was responsible for storing the unaccounted money.
Shivkumar has been arguing that the case against him is an I-T department case and ED has nothing to do with it.