Political News, Karnataka, Bengaluru/ New Delhi, December 15:-The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), probing the 2016 murder of former BJP zilla panchayat member Yogesh Gowda in Dharwad has arrested one more person in connection with the case, officials said on Monday.
With the arrest of Chandrashekhar Indi, the number of those arrested in the case has gone up to eight.
Indi is a relative of former Karnataka minister Vinay Kulkarni who was arrested in the case last month, sources said.
The officials said that Indi was taken into custody on allegations that he had arranged the country-made guns used in the killing of Gowda.
These weapons were seized during searches at the premises of the main accused in the case, B Shivappa Muttagi, they said.
Indi had allegedly supplied the weapons to Muttagi, sources in the CBI told PTI.
The CBI had taken Indi into custody on Sunday and produced him before a court on Monday, the officials said.
“Muttagi obtained the weapons from Indi, which was used in the killing Gowda,” a CBI official said on the condition of anonymity.
The sources said that Indi used to attend all the hearings related to the case and allegedly used to influence the witness.
Gowda, a BJP zilla panchayat member, was killed in his gym in Dharwad by unidentified men on June 15, 2016.
The central agency has found that Kulkarni, a former Karnataka mines and geology minister, was allegedly a participant in the conspiracy that led to Gowda’s killing, the officials said.
Kulkarni had won the Dharwad seat in 2013 assembly polls but could not repeat the result in 2018 when BJP’s Amrut Ayyappa Desai defeated him.
The agency took over the probe in the case on the recommendation of the Karnataka government, they said.
The probe of the local police showed property dispute as the reason behind the killing while the CBI investigation shows it to be a political murder, the officials said.
The agency had charge sheeted eight persons in the case in May this year.
“The CBI investigation revealed that the accused allegedly came to Dharwad on two occasions in June 2016 and with the support of other accused allegedly planned the murder of Gowda. These accused fled after the commission of the crime,” the CBI had said after filing of the charge sheet.
Gowda was killed because of political rivalry as Kulkarni, the then MLA, had allegedly asked him not contest the zilla panchayat elections which the former had refused, according to the CBI probe so far.
The duo had verbal altercations on a number of occasions, including at a zilla panchayat meeting chaired by Kulkarni on April 22, 2016, the officials said.
The Congress had denied the allegations against Kulkarni calling the case as a political witch hunt.
“Congress leader Vinay Kulkarni’s arrest by the ‘puppet CBI’ reflects the blatant conspiracy & malicious intent of CM, Yediyurappa & BJP leadership,” AICC general secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala had tweeted earlier.
-(NAV, Inputs: Agencies)