Bengaluru: Right-wing Hindu activist Chaitra Kundapur has been declared medically fit by hospital authorities, a day after she was admitted to hospital after collapsing during interrogation. She was arrested by police on September 12 on charges of defrauding a businessman ₹5 crore by promising him a ticket from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for the May assembly elections.
Officials at Victoria Hospital, where she was admitted, said her condition was stable. “Chaitra Kundapur used to have seizures but did not take any medication. Vital signs are stable, ABG, RBS and ECG are normal. A CT scan was performed which showed normal results. Currently, her clinical condition is stable,” Victoria Hospital said in a statement.
On the morning of September 15, Kundapur was taken from a women’s rehabilitation center to the Central Crime Branch for questioning. After an hour of interrogation, Kundapur collapsed, foam reportedly pouring out of her mouth, and she was admitted to Victoria Hospital in the city.
A senior CCB official said investigators had not yet taken her into custody despite the hospital declaring her medically fit and even suggesting that her collapse could be induced. “We will await further instructions from medical officials and bring her back for questioning in due course. Currently, we are focusing on other aspects of the investigation,” the official said.
Another official involved in the ongoing investigation said that the CCB conducted inspections at various locations in Udupi on Saturday. The searches were carried out to identify properties purchased by the gang using money raised through the scam. “We also have information that they kept money in various companies. We conducted these searches as part of this,” the official added.
Kundapur and six other suspects were arrested by CCB police on September 12 from Bandepalya police station in Bengaluru on a complaint lodged by Govind Babu Pujari (44), a businessman. Pujari had filed a complaint against eight people, including Kundapur, on September 8, accusing them of extorting money from him by promising a BJP MLA ticket.
On Saturday, he submitted a USB drive containing evidence to the CCB police in connection with his allegations. The USB stick allegedly contains his telephone conversations with the defendant. Pujari reportedly recorded his conversations with the accused after finding them suspicious, CCB officials said, adding that the police are examining the evidence submitted.
Another accused in the case, Channa Naik, who was arrested on the evening of September 14, was remanded to CCB custody by the court till September 23. The police have so far arrested six accused in the case. The accused, Seher Abhinava Halashree of Halaswamy Mutt, has been absconding since Chaitra’s arrest.
On Saturday, a court in Bengaluru adjourned the seer’s anticipatory bail application. The seer’s lawyer had applied for bail at the city’s 57th CCH court on September 15. The bail hearing has been adjourned to September 19, police said.
Former BJP national general secretary CT Ravi addressed reporters in Mangaluru on Saturday and said the truth behind the MLA ticket fraud case involving Hindutva activist Chaitra Kundapura should be brought to light through a comprehensive investigation . Stressing that the police should conduct a transparent investigation to uncover the truth, Ravi claimed that there is no system in the BJP to give party tickets against money during elections. He said: “There are people who are fooled and there are people who are fooled.”
Home Minister G. Parameshwara said that the police are actively investigating the case and will release full details once the investigation is complete. He also commented on the recent events and said, “As you have seen a lot of drama (Kundapura’s hospitalization), the police have handled it well. “Full details will be revealed once the investigation is completed.”
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