The Suvarna News report that district in-charge and Mines and Geology Minister Vinay Kulkarni is pressurising the family of slain BJP leader Yogishgowda Gowdar to compromise with the killer has generated a commotion in the legislative assembly, reported Kannada Prabha.

Yogish’s brother Gurunatha Gowda spoke to Suvarna News on Thursday morning that Vinay Kulkarni pressurised the family to resolve the issue by compromising with the accused. Soon after the commencement of Assembly Vishveshvara Hegade Kageri mentioned the news and alleged that influential minister is trying to bury Yogesh Gowda murder case.  It was reported that the minister summoned a DySP to his house and instructed him to speak with Yogesh Gowda’s wife and brother and convince them to withdraw the case. He called it a serious allegation and demanded a discussion.

Speaker K B Koliwad said he would permit to debate under Rule 69. However Vinay Kulkarni outrightly rejected the allegation and said he has not made any attempt for any compromise.

Suvarna News is in possession of recordings of DySP’s meeting with Yogesh’s brother. As the news was telecast the issue was mentioned in the assembly.  Heavy debate ensued between ruling Congress and Opposition BJP members. BJP has decided to make use of it as a political weapon.

Thulasappa Zulfi, DYSP with IGP’s office in Belagavi met Yogesh’ brother Gurunathagowda several times, including on Oct 23, Nov 10 and on Non 17, at Gowda’s Govanakoppa farm house and spoke to him. His visits are recorded in the CCTV.  Gurunatahgowda has stated that Zulfi met him on behalf of Vinay Kulkarni and later at the Circuit House in the Dharawad DC office premises, Congress leader and Dharawada Hotel Owners’ Association president Mahesh Shetty also spoke about the same issue with him.

Gurunatahgowda said “ I had said that I would bring with me Gururaja Hunasimarada, a JD(S) leader. Zulfi had said that he would facilitate a meeting in minister’s milk dairy. I and Hunasimarada did not agree to that.

Then the meeting with the minister happened in Mahesh Shetty’s house.  Minister said close the case here, if you want I will bring accused number 1 Basavaraja Muttagi, he offered. But I did not agree for that. I thought as the case is in court, let it be decided by the court. I was even pressurised to compromise by holding my brother’s son as ransom”.

Meanwhile, Minister Vinay Kulkarni has alleged that BJP is making such a conspiracy to create hurdle for the Lingayat independent religion agitation. He said there is no question of compromising on Yogesh Gowda’s murder. Speaking to news persons the minister said BJP leaders are making such attempts to defame me and my brother Vijay Kulkarni. Yogesh Gowda killers are in jail and the case is subjudice. I have no connection with this incident.”

He flatly refused to acknowledge DySP Zulfi. “I don’t know DySP Thulasappa Zulfi. He is not from our district. There is no question of sending him for compromise. BJP is inviting Yogesh Gowda’s family to allege against me for breaking the Lingayat religion agitation. Within three days I will expose the names of those involved in this,” he said.  He also stated that he will not be supressed in his fight for Lingayat religion.

Opposition leader Jagadish Shettar demanded that the case must be handed over to CBI. If Vinay Kulkarni was not involved in the killing of Yogesh Gowda, which everybody knows was politically motivated, why would he attempt to compromise he argued. He demanded that DySP Zulfi must be arrested first. He demanded that the government must answer this and alleged that it is burying the case just like DySp Ganapathi case.

Meanwhile, Yogesh Gowda’s wife Mallamma stated that 2 days before her husband was killed, he had received a letter which he had discussed with her. Then he was killed. She has been saying it is politically motivated and not for property but the police are not recording her statement and even submitting an appeal to the Chief Minister has had little impact. Hence she demanded CBI inquiry.

BJP’s district president Eeranna Jadi said an agitation has been organised at Dharawad on Nov 24.