Cash-for-seat case: ₹56L cash seized from Halashree’s mutt in Karnataka
The Central Crime Branch (CCB) police have seized ₹56 lakh from seer Abhinava Halashree’s mutt in Vijayanagara district
Bengaluru: The Central Crime Branch (CCB) police have seized ₹56 lakh from seer Abhinava Halashree’s mutt in Vijayanagara district, in connection with the ongoing investigation in the alleged cash-for-ticket scam, officials said.
Halashree, who was tracked down by the CCB team near Cuttack in Odisha on a train on September 19, was brought back to Bengaluru the next day, and taken to ten-day police custody for further probe.
The seizure was made based on tip-off by a person named Pranav Prasad, to Abdul Ahad, deputy commissioner of Police (DCP), City Crime Branch, Bengaluru, a CCB official privy to the developments said, requesting anonymity. Prasad, had also made a video claiming that he had kept ₹56 lakh at the Mutt near Hospet, as the cash belonged to the seer.
Prasad, in the video, said that the seer’s driver had asked him to keep the bag which had ₹60 lakh with him, last week. He added that driver took ₹4 lakh to pay the lawyer’s fee and left ₹56 lakh at his office.
HT has seen the purpoted video.
The seer, accused number three in the FIR, is the eighth suspect to be arrested in the case. Police arrested right-wing activist Chaitra Kundapur and six others on September 12 on charges of cheating Govind Babu Pujari (44) of ₹5 crore by falsely promising him a BJP ticket to contest the assembly elections from Byndoor in Udupi district.
The complainant had said that he had given ₹1.5 crore to the seer. Pujari said that before the complaint was filed, the seer had sought time to repay ₹1.5 crore and asked not to name him in the case, according to the FIR.
The CCB officials arrested the seer on September 19, who was on the run after the arrest of seven of his associates. A special team tracking him down finally intercepted him on a train near Cuttack in Odisha.
Meanwhile, Bengaluru City police commissioner B Dayananda, who spoke to the media regarding the case on Thursday, said, “Eight people have been arrested in connection with the case. They have been taken into police custody and are being interrogated. Fixed deposit, gold and cash worth over ₹2 crore were seized from the accused. Besides, we seized ₹56 lakh from the seer’s Mutt, and ₹20 lakh was recovered from another person.”
“Apart from the eight people who have already been arrested in connection with the case, the investigation is going on whether anyone else is involved. Notices have been issued to four more people today, which is part of the enquiry,” the commissioner added.
Meanwhile, Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Sharan Pumpwell on Thursday, said the right-wing outfit has no connection with Kundapur.
“We had invited Chaitra Kundapur as a speaker for our programmes because she is educated, a good speaker and has good knowledge. We are in no way connected to Chaitra Kundapur,” Pumpwell told reporters in Mangaluru.