Kundapur discharged from hospital, seer still on run in cash-for-ticket case
Police arrested Kundapur and six others on September 12 on charges of cheating Govind Babu Pujari (44) by falsely promising him a BJP ticket to contest the assembly elections from Byndoor in Udupi district
Chaitra Kundapur, the main accused in the alleged cash-for-ticket scam, was discharged from the Victoria Hospital in Bengaluru on Monday, and taken to the Central Crime Branch (CCB) office in Chamarajpet for interrogation, officials said.
She was hospitalised on September 15, after she reportedly suffered from epileptic seizures when she was being questioned by the CCB officials. The officials of Victoria Hospital, where she was admitted, had stated that her condition was stable.
Police arrested Kundapur and six others on September 12 on charges of cheating Govind Babu Pujari (44) by falsely promising him a BJP ticket to contest the assembly elections from Byndoor in Udupi district. A Bengaluru court sent them to a 10-day police custody till September 23.
Pujari filed a complaint at Bandepalya police station in Bengaluru on September 8 against eight people, including Kundapur, accusing them of extorting money from him by promising a BJP MLA ticket. Poojari owns Cheftalk Food and Hospitality Service Pvt Ltd, which has been running the subsidised Indira Canteens since 2017.
Accused number three Abhinava Halashree Swamiji is absconding since the arrest of Kundapur and police have launched a search for him.
The seer is said to have introduced complainant Pujari to former chief minister BS Yediyurappa before the elections in May, as a show of his connections. Pictures of the seer along with Yediyurappa and Pujari have been widely circulated on social media.
Three teams have been formed to arrest Halashree, who is said to be shifting his hideouts. On Sunday, the CCB took the seer’s Innova car and driver into custody from Mysuru. “We are searching for the seer, trying to locate him by interrogating the driver. We are trying to find out where he was last dropped, where he has taken shelter and other information,” the CCB official said.
Meanwhile, the CCB police have recovered over ₹3 crore which Kundapur had used for purchasing a car, gold and investing in fixed deposits.
Kundapur invested ₹1.8 crore in fixed deposits in a co-operative bank in Kundapura and gold jewellery worth ₹ 65 lakh was found her house, according to CCB officials.
Kundapur is said to have deposited ₹ 40 lakh in Shriram Bank with the help of a relative who worked at the lender. The account has been seized by the authorities, police said, adding that they have recovered ₹23 lakh worth of gold biscuits kept in another bank locker belonging to Kundapur.