Karnataka cash for tickets scam: Activist hospitalised after she collapses during probe

By, Bengaluru
Sep 16, 2023 12:47 AM IST

The doctors said that Kundapur’s condition is now stable, adding that she arrived at the hospital in a semi-conscious state

Hindu activist Chaitra Kundapur, who was arrested for allegedly cheating a businessman of 5 crore by promising him a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ticket to contest the assembly elections in May, collapsed during interrogation at the City Crime Branch (CCB) office in Bengaluru on Friday, officials familiar with the matter said.

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HT Image

On Friday morning, Kundapur was brought to the CCB office from a women’s rehabilitation centre for interrogation. After an hour into the interrogation, Kundapur collapsed with froth allegedly oozing out of her mouth, and was rushed to Victoria Hospital in the city, the officials said.

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However, Dr Asima Banu, Nodal Officer, Victoria Hospital, said Kundapur’s condition is stable, adding that she arrived at the hospital in a semi-conscious state. “She is stable. Everything is normal. We are conducting all the tests. She was admitted with a suspicion of fits, but that is not the case,” Dr Banu said.

Kundapur and six other suspects were arrested on Tuesday by the CCB police based on a complaint by Govind Babu Pujari (44), a businessman, at the Bandepalya police station in Bengaluru. Pujari, had filed a complaint on September 8 against eight people, including Kundapur.

On Wednesday, a city court had sent the activist and five others to CCB custody for 10 days. Another accused, Channa Naik, was arrested from Yeshwantpur in Bengaluru on Thursday.

Meanwhile, accused number 3 in the case, Abhinava Halashree of Halaswamy Mutt in Vijayanagara district, is still absconding, officials said, adding that they launched a manhunt to nab him at the earliest.

Reacting to the arrest of Kundapur, Udupi-Chikkamagaluru Member of Parliament and Union minister of state for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Shobha Karandlaje on Friday, distanced herself from Kundapur, and urged for transparent investigation into the case.

“I didn’t have any personal connection with Chaitra [Kundapur]. Hundreds of people have taken photos with me. Similarly, Chaitra might have taken photos with me. She has never called me and I have never made any phone call to her,” Karandlaje said. “Let it be transparent. I urge for a high-level investigation. None of us are supporting Chaitra. We are not protecting her. All those who have done wrong should be punished.”

BJP leader Basavaraj Bommai said, “We take the matter of taking cash for ticket seriously. It is clear that BJP has nothing to do with this. Let there be investigation into the case. Those who are in the guilty position claim big names are involved.”

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