Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla seeks probe into Karnataka MLC’s death
Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Wednesday called for a “high-level probe” into the death of Karnataka legislative council deputy chairman SL Dharmegowda.
“Anguished at the sad news of demise of Deputy Chairman, Karnataka Legislative Council, Shri S. L. Dharmegowda. My condolences to his family. The unfortunate incident in the House, when he was in Chair, is a serious attack on democracy. It is necessary to have a high level probe through an independent agency into his death,” Birla said.
According to an official statement, the Lok Sabha Speaker said: “It is the duty of all of us to safeguard the prestige of legislative bodies and dignity and freedom of presiding officers.”
Following Birla’s statement, Parliament officials said that there hasn’t been any such instance in the recent past where the Speaker has sought a high-level probe into the murder of a presiding officer of a state assembly. “It is the state government that usually asks for an investigation as law and order is a state subject,” said an official, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Dharmegowda’s body was recovered from railway tracks in Chikmagalur district on Tuesday. Investigators suspect that Dharmegowda may have died by suicide and are examining a purported death note found near his body.
According to a police official familiar with the matter, Dharmegowda drove to Gunasagar in his personal car with his driver on Monday evening. There, he asked his driver to leave him alone, officials said. A search was launched after his family alerted officials when he did not return home that night.
Based on mobile phone signals, his body was located on the Mankenahalli railway tracks.
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