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Karnataka home minister faces probe over land order

A Bangalore court Thursday ordered a probe into charges that Karnataka Home Minister R. Ashoka had abused his office to get government land in north of the city illegally denotified.

Former chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, already in jail in two corruption cases, is also an accused in the denotification case filed against Ashoka by Jayakumar Hiremath, a Bangalore resident who claimed he was a social activist.

Yeddyurappa has been made an accused since the denotification took place when he was the chief minister.

Special Lokayukta Court Judge N.K. Sudhindra Rao, who Oct 15 sent Yeddyurappa to judicial custody till Oct 22, directed police to probe the charges against Ashoka and submit a report by Nov 5.

Ashoka and Yeddyurappa have been accused of causing a Rs.50 crore loss to the state by illegally denotifying about half an acre of land in Lottegollahalli in north Bangalore when Yeddyurappa was chief minister.

Ashoka declined to react on the Lokayukta court order. He told reporters he might hold a press conference here Friday to give his version.

The opposition Congress and Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) demanded immediate resignation of the home minister to ensure a fair probe.

“He is the home minister. How can a fair probe take place as long as he remains minister,” leader of the opposition in assembly Siddaramaiah of the Congress told reporters.

JD-S spokesperson Y.S.V. Datta too demanded that Ashoka resign to provide a free hand to police to probe the charges.


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