No political pressure on CID in Sowjanya case, says Home Minister K J George

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Bangalore, Oct 23, 2013, DHNS:  Home Minister K J George on Wednesday said the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) is facing no political pressure in its investigation into the rape and murder of Sowjanya, a student of SDM College in Ujire in Dakshina Kannada district.

Speaking to reporters here on Wednesday, George said the government is not trying to ‘protect’ anybody in the case and is ready to bring to book all those involved. “We have no intentions of covering up anything. I personally spoke to the officers investigating the case and found that they are not facing any pressure,” he said.

The minister said the government is awaiting the CID report, which will be submitted shortly, to discuss the further course of action. Sowjanya was raped and murdered on October 9, 2012.  Earlier, Director General of Police (CID) Bipin Gopalkrishna told George during a review meeting that a person allegedly involved in the rape and murder of Sowjanya has been arrested.

The CID team had carefully verified records such as passport and visa of Dharmasthala Dharmadhikari Veerendra Heggade’s nephew. He was not in India when the incident took place and had left the country much before the murder took place. There are no evidences to link him in the case. Some sections are making efforts to defame Veerendra Heggade and his family members, the CID chief told the minister.

Gopalakrishna said the CID had issued summons to Dheeraj Jain, Mallik Jain and Udaya Jain and they recently turned up before the probe team which recorded their statements.

George also reviewed the progress of important cases being investigated by the CID, including those related to mining scam. The minister said the government was willing to hand over the case relating to the theft of iron ore from the Karwar port to the CBI and, sought the opinion of the investigating officer and the CID higher-ups.

Staff shortage

He said there was staff shortage in the CID and this has increased the pendency of cases. The Home department will be recruiting around 8,500 personnel, he added.

George said that he will be reviewing the Anti-Naxal Force (ANF) in the next couple of days. “We have already released Rs nine crore for upgrading  the ANF camps and more will follow.” To a media query on the Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde’s letter on cases booked against those from the minority communities, George said the state government will be constituting a committee headed by a retired judge to examine such cases, particularly the serious ones.

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