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Karnataka PSI recruitment scam: CID officials arrest Congress Afzalpur block president

Mahanthesh Patil is the president of Afzalpur block in Kalaburagi district, and a close associate of Rajya Sabha MP and Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge.
 

Karnataka PSI recruitment scam: CID officials arrest Congress Afzalpur block president-dnm
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Bengaluru, First Published Apr 23, 2022, 10:02 AM IST

The Congress which was attacking the BJP over the PSI recruitment scam suffered a major setback, as the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of Karnataka Friday arrested a Congress block president — Mahanthesh Patil — in connection with the Police Sub-Inspector (PSI) recruitment scam.

Mahantesh Patil was allegedly part of the gang that rigged the evaluation of the PSI recruitment exam where candidates offering a bribe in the range of Rs 70-80 Lakh were given more marks, leading to their names jumping up in the merit list.

Mahanthesh Patil is the president of Afzalpur block in Kalaburagi district, and a close associate of Rajya Sabha MP and Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge. The police sources said that he helped Congress MLA MY Patil and gunman Ayyanna Desai to use bluetooth devices to cheat during the examination. Ayyanna has already been arrested.

He was the alleged link between Hayyali Desai, the gunman of MY Patil, and key accused in the scam Divya Hagaragi, a BJP leader associated with Gyan Jyoti Institute which was the exam centre. While her husband Rajesh Hagaragi has been arrested and is in judicial custody, Divya Hagaragi is still at large.

The examination for 545 sub-inspector posts was held in October last year and around 54,041 students appeared for it. However, few aspirants had alleged that there was a fraud in the examination and the probe by CID revealed the same. With Patil’s arrest, a total of 11 people have been held to date.

Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, who was in Kalaburgi on Friday, said efforts are being made to arrest Divya Hagaragi, who is a BJP leader and the former women’s unit president of Kalaburgi. “We have given a free hand to the police and they have arrested people irrespective of their political affiliations. There will be an impartial probe,” the CM added.

The number of people arrested in the alleged fraud rose to 12.

Meanwhile, Praveen Sood, DG & IGP, Karnataka State Police, said utmost care was being taken to ensure nobody who has indulged in malpractice benefits from it, jeopardizing the interest of other honest candidates. “We have decided to debar all candidates proven to have indulged in malpractice from any recruitment for life,” he said.

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