The CBI has filed a supplementary chargesheet against former Karnataka Minister Vinay Kulkarni and two others in connection with the murder of Yogesh Gowda, then zilla panchayat member, in June 2016.
Among those arraigned are Chandrashekhar Indi and Shivananand Birdar. The former MLA from Dharwad and the other two are in judicial custody. The agency had earlier chargesheeted eight persons, Santosh Savadatti, Dinesh. M, Sunil K.S., Harshith, Aswath. S, Nazeer Ahamad, Shanawaz and Nutan K.S. It has seized three country-made pistols.
The CBI said its probe revealed that the former Minister had personal enmity and political rivalry with the victim, who had declined the request to step back from contesting the ZP polls in 2016. “Investigations revealed that the ex-Minister allegedly conspired with his close associates and in pursuance thereof, one of his associates agreed to execute the murder,” it said.
According to the CBI, as part of the planning, the accused entered into land deal and later projected a purported land dispute as the motive behind the murder.
One of his associates roped in a person from Bengaluru and they visited Dharwad twice. During the first visit, they stayed at a resort arranged allegedly by the ex-Minister in Dandelli. The second time, the two henchmen allegedly murdered the ZP member and fled.
The CBI had taken over the investigation on September 24, 2019, following a reference from the Karnataka government.
The case was initially registered at the suburban police station in Dharwad. The local police filed its final report on September 9, 2016, against Basavaraj Muttagi, Vikram Ballari, Keerthi Kumar, Sandeep Savadatti, Vinayak Katagi and Mahabaleshwar Hongal aka Mudaka, all residents of Dharwad.