Bengaluru: Former Karnataka minister and BJP MLA Arvind Limbavali is among six people named in the FIR in connection with the death of a businessman, police said on Monday.
Pradeep (47) was found dead in his car at Nettigere near here on Sunday evening, they said, adding that he had allegedly shot himself in the head.
He had purportedly left behind an eight-page death note that named Mahadevapura MLA Aravind Limbavali and five others, according to police.
Limbavali is accused number 3 in the FIR, which also names — Gopi K, Somaiah, Ramesh Reddy G, Jayarama Reddy, and Raghava Bhat.
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The case has been registered at Kaggalipura police station.
The FIR is based on a complaint by Pradeep’s wife along with the death note.
Responding to a question on the case registered against Limbavali, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said: ”Action is being taken as per law…actions will follow in the future too in accordance with law.” Stating that Pradeep was a BJP worker and had initially handled his social media account, Limbavali on his part said he had only tried to help the businessman, and was ready for any inquiry. ”In fact, I demand for an inquiry, for the truth to come out.” The legislator said he doesn’t know as to what was the motive behind mentioning his name in the death note, and ruled out the possibility of any conspiracy against him.
Speaking to reporters in Hubballi, Karnataka Congress President D K Shivakumar alleged that the government would soon shut the case by filing a ‘B report’.
”They did the same for cases involving people who were ministers earlier. Now, they will do the same in the case of Limbavali too. I know,” he said in a dig at the ruling BJP.
According to the police, the death note pointed to the six accused for doing injustice to Pradeep, who has demanded for justice and actions against those named.
Pradeep is said to have invested about Rs 1.5 crore in an upcoming resort project involving Gopi, Somaiah and others near HSR Layout, a prominent suburb near here, and was promised a stake in it, but was later allegedly cheated, police said.
Limbavali is said to have tried to broker a compromise between them, and an agreement was reached a month ago to pay Pradeep his dues, but the latter did not receive all the money, they added.
Pradeep had gone to a resort in Nettigere along with his family on Saturday night to celebrate the New Year, police said.
He is said to have left the resort on Sunday morning, saying he needed to go to Sira, but had gone home instead, penned the death note and returned to the resort, they said, adding that in the evening he shot himself in the car.
Noting that in June/July of 2022, Pradeep had come to his office and shared his problem, Limbavali said: ”Immediately based on the information and phone numbers he shared, I checked with them (Gopi, Somaiah and others) and asked them to do the settlement. They sought for time citing COVID, and as the issue was not resolved even after 15 days, Pradeep again came to me and I then asked them to resolve issues immediately, as he was in financial distress.” ”This much has been his involvement in the issue…subsequently at some event, on my asking, Pradeep said his issue was solved and thanked me,” Limbavali told reporters, adding that he knew Gopi, Somaiah and others as they are owners of a banquet hall in the city where party events or meetings are usually held.
The MLA said Pradeep had again called him on his mobile phone in August regarding some family dispute and said his wife had filed a case against him in Bellandur police station.
”As it is a family dispute, I don’t want to go into detail… I had called the police station and asked them to try to amicably solve the issue and help them reach a compromise, by involving both parties if the wife agrees, and accordingly they had reached a compromise,” he said.
Highlighting that dealing with such cases is normal to all MLAs on a daily basis, Limbavali said it is unfortunate that this issue has gone to this extent.
”Pradeep himself has said in the death note that after my intervention, the parties had agreed to give him about Rs 90 lakh. He has mentioned my name for inquiry. I have done pro-people work,” the MLA said.
”…this doesn’t mean I will stop helping people in the time of need, I will continue to do my bit to help people. We will have to face certain things in public life,” Limbavali further said, as he clarified that he did not do any mediation, but asked the parties involved to reach a settlement.