Congress alleges electoral fraud in Karnataka, demands CM Bommai's exit

News Network
November 17, 2022

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Bengaluru, Nov 17: The Congress on Thursday demanded the resignation and arrest of Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai in connection with a major electoral data theft scandal that has come to light in Bengaluru.

A nonprofit named Chilume Educational & Rural Development Trust was roped in by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to conduct an awareness campaign under the Election Commission’s Systematic Voters' Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) programme.

However, it turned out that the nonprofit went door-to-door to allegedly collect personal details of citizens - caste, education, mother tongue, Aadhaar and so on. This was done using people who were given identity cards saying they were booth-level officers (BLO).

On Wednesday, the BBMP withdrew its consent that was given to the Chilume Trust because it “violated the conditions of the permission.”

“The shocking expose has revealed that those sitting in the citadels of power, including Bommai, are overtly and covertly responsible for theft of voter data, fraud and impersonation through brazen misdemeanors,” AICC general secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala told a news conference here.

Surjewala said voter data collected by Chilume was uploaded on a private app called Digital Sameeksha, owned by its sister concern Chilume Enterprises Pvt Ltd. “Voters were made to believe that their information was being given to BLOs as a part of the voter registration drive,” he said.

The Congress also said that one Krishnappa Ravikumar, director at Chilume and DAP Hombale Pvt Ltd, is linked to IT/BT Minister CN Ashwath Narayan, the Malleswaram MLA. Surjewala released pictures showing the minister cutting a cake with Ravikumar.

Apparently, Chilume was first allowed to conduct ‘voter awareness activities’ in the Shivajinagar constituency. Then, the BBMP gave the nonprofit permission to cover all 28 Assembly segments in Bengaluru.

“The sum and substance of this conspiracy is to deny the ordinary voter his right to vote and to tamper electoral list by surreptitious means,” Surjewala said, demanding action against Bommai, under whom the BBMP functions.

The Congress said it wants an investigation under the supervision of the Karnataka High Court Chief Justice.

“Never has such a fraud happened before,” Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah said.

Karnataka Congress president D K Shivakumar said his party investigated this over the past two months. “About 18,000 people, who are (BJP) workers, were given ID cards,” he said. “They even identified vacant houses. Their plan is to get voters from somewhere else enrolled here. Also, they’re removing minority, SC, ST and OBC voters who don’t support them from the electoral rolls,” he claimed.

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News Network
November 17,2022

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Bengaluru, Nov 17: The Directorate of Enforcement (ED) has arrested the managing director of Injaz International, Misbahuddin S alias Misbauddin S Mukarram under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002. The accused had allegedly cheated people of huge funds in a Ponzi scam.

According to ED officials, during the investigation of the scam, they found that the accused had cheated the investors by siphoning off huge sums of money after luring depositors with promises of high returns against their investment. 

A special PMLA court on Thursday remanded Misbahuddin in ED custody till November 19. 

ED had initiated a money laundering investigation on the basis of an FIR registered against M/s Injaz International and associated Group located at Bengaluru under sections of Prize Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (Banning) Act, 1978 and Chit Funds Act, 1982 and under section 420 of IPC by Wilson Garden Police Station in September 2017.

The then revenue inspector of Yelahanka taluk tahsildar's office, Ananth Padmanabha, had filed a complaint with the police against Injaz International stating that a probe was conducted after the 42nd State-level coordination committee meeting. The company had taken deposits from thousands of investors promising them high returns and cheated them. The case was transferred to CCB. Misbahuddin was arrested by CCB in 2019 for cheating people to the tune of Rs 250 crore. 

The ED found that M/s Injaz International is a partnership firm that was run by Suhail Ahamed Shariff and Misbahuddin S. M/s Injaz International accepted deposits from investors, cheated them and violated RBI guidelines. M/s Injaz International ran investment schemes by luring depositors with promises of high returns since the year 2016. The money was routed through multiple bank accounts, the firm had not done audits or had filed ITR returns.

M/s Injaz International diverted the amount from depositors to various individuals including its partners and related entity M/s Injaz Builders and Developers. Further investigation is on. 

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News Network
November 14,2022

Shivamogga, Nov 14: Two Hindutva activists reportedly assaulted a Muslim youth on Sunday at Gandhi circle in Bhadravathi town in Shivamogga district of Karnataka.

According to police, Harish and Goutham hurled a stone at Zaheer. Police have stated that there was a skirmish between them. 

In another incident, one Rizwan was stabbed on his hand by an unidentified persons in front of a general hospital in Bhadravathi. Bhadravathi police registered a case and the investigation is on.

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News Network
November 13,2022

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Mangaluru, Nov 13: The health department has warned schools to be cautious in the wake of increase in cases of conjunctivitis after the rainy season in the coastal district of Dakshina Kannada. 

Schools have been advised to take precautions to prevent the spread of pink-eye disease among children. Cases of conjunctivitis, inflammation, or infection of the outer membrane of the eyeball and the inner eyelid are being reported at many places across the district. The health department suggested that children stay at home till they are cured.

DHO Dr Kishore Kumar M said that the department has been receiving information about the spread of cases in many schools in the district. 

“Parents have also requested that precautions need to be taken in schools. So I have spoken to the deputy director of public instructions to take note of the issue and direct schools to take necessary precautions. We have suggested that schools may grant holidays till children are cured when they are infected with conjunctivitis. In fact, the district started reporting cases ever since the rain stopped,” Dr Kumar explained.

It is difficult to prevent the spread of the infection when one of the family members or a student suffers from it. It spreads most often through direct contact with the eye by hands or objects like towels that are contaminated with the virus or bacteria. So there is a need to avoid direct contact with objects that infected persons have used. Since it also spreads through houseflies, those infected should always wear sunglasses, he said.

He cautioned against the use of coconut oil or any other oils as eye drops for conjunctivitis. All government hospitals have sufficient stock of eye drops required to treat patients with conjunctivitis. In case of severe infection, people should compulsorily consult an ophthalmologist, Dr Kumar added.

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