BJP, Congress spar in Karnataka over Mehdi

  • Sudipto Mondal, Hindustan Times, Bengaluru
  • Updated: Jan 06, 2015 17:32 IST

The terror investigations in Karnataka's capital Bengaluru, formerly known as Bangalore, has triggered a nasty war of words between the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the ruling Congress.

On Monday, former chief minister and senior BJP leader Jagadish Shettar accused the government of trying to dilute the case against alleged ISIS Twitter account operator Mehdi Masroor Biswas and playing "vote bank politics".

Shettar also alleged that joint commissioner of police Hemanth Nimbalkar, one of the investigating officers in the case, was transferred with the aim of scuttling the investigation.

"The ISIS Twitter case must be investigated without bias. This shows they are diverting the case. I urge the state government not to interfere in this," said Shettar.

"I urge the state government to hand over the probe to the Centre if they cannot handle it," he added.

State home minister KJ George, whose resignation the BJP has been demanding for months, was quick to respond.

"Several senior IPS officers were transferred on December 31 as a matter of routine. The transfer of one officer from a certain investigating team does not compromise the investigation. Besides, Abhishek Goyal (deputy commissioner of police Central Crime Branch) is the investigating officer in this case and not Nimbalkar."

The BJP too has been accused of playing politics over terror for the last weeks since the December 28 Bengaluru blast that killed a woman.

Union minister of state for home affairs Kiran Rijiju, during his last visit to the state claimed that some Islamist terror groups were behind the blast.

His claim was immediately denied by the state government as well as the police on grounds that the investigation is still in preliminary stages.

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