Police Raid on MLA’s Residence Sparks Clash with Supporters

Police Raid on MLA’s Residence Sparks Clash with Supporters

Musters Extensive Support from Workers, Leaders and Lawyers

Belthangady: A major confrontation unfolded on Wednesday, May 22, when a Dakshina Kannada police team, led by a Deputy Superintendent of Police, raided the residence of Belthangady MLA Harish Poonja. The raid, lasting over two hours, was ostensibly conducted to question Poonja about the May 19 incident, where he and his associates allegedly stormed a police station to secure the release of a party worker involved in illegal mining.

As news of the police presence spread, numerous BJP workers, accompanied by a team of lawyers, gathered at Poonja’s residence to prevent any attempt to arrest the MLA. The situation grew tense as reports suggested that the police initially arrived without an arrest warrant, and soon began preparing supplementary documents for Poonja’s potential arrest.

Prominent local BJP leaders, including MP candidate Capt. Brijesh Chowta, MP Nalin Kumar Kateel, District BJP President Satish Kumpala, senior BJP leader Capt. Ganesh Karnik and several MLAs were present to show their support for Poonja. Legal representation for Poonja was led by advocates Shambhu Sharma, Subrahmanya Kumar, and Anil Kumar.

Shambu Sharma criticised the police’s actions, stating, “The police cannot barge into somebody’s house and arrest someone without a warrant. They claimed they were there to inquire about the illegal mining case involving Poonja’s associate, Shashiraj Shetty, who is already in custody.”

After intense discussions, the police issued a notice requiring MLA Poonja to accompany them to the police station for an inquiry. These events followed Poonja’s controversial visit to the Belthangady police station on May 19, where he and his followers demanded the immediate release of Shashiraj Shetty.

BJP State President B Y Vijayendra condemned the police’s actions, attributing them to alleged political influence by the ruling Congress government and warning of statewide agitation if Poonja is not exonerated.

This incident underscores the ongoing tensions between political entities and law enforcement in Dakshina Kannada district, highlighting the complex interplay of legal, political, and social dynamics at play.

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