A Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the Karnataka police, which was probing an extortion racket operating inside the Karnataka Lokayukta, arrested a sixth person on Wednesday.
The SIT has arrested V Bhaskar alias 420 Bhaskar, a journalist, a businessman and an RTI activist who was linked to the extortion racket but was absconding for the past few weeks.
- Karnataka Lokayukta Justice Y Bhaskar Rao quits four months after son’s arrest
- SC stays Karnataka HC bail order for Lokayukta scam accused
- Key member of Karnataka Lokayukta extortion racket arrested
- SIT makes tenth arrest in Karnataka Lokayukta scam
- Eighth arrest in Karnataka Lokayukta extortion scam
- Karnataka extortion racket: Lokayukta’s PRO is now a key suspect
The police suspect Bhaskar to be a close associate of Ashwin Rao, the son of Karnataka Lokayukta Justice Y Bhaskar Rao, who is the main accused in the case.
Bhaskar, who used to publish a Kannada tabloid in Bengaluru, is alleged to have acted as an intermediary who promised closure of a corruption case against an irrigation engineer P B Channabasappa with the assistance of Ashwin Rao for the payment of a Rs 20 lakh bribe.
SIT officials said the arrest of Bhaskar would help throw more light on the racket since he is considered a key man involved in threatening government officials in name of the Lokayukta.
Bhaskar is a key accused in two cases of extortion being investigated by the SIT. The SIT has so far arrested six persons in the two cases including the Lokayukta’s son Ashwin Rao, the Lokayukta Public Relations Officer Syed Riyazathullah, and three associates including realtor Ashok Kumar and a journalist Srinivasa Gowda.
On Wednesday a special Lokayukta court sent PRO Riyazathullah to judicial custody till August 14 at the end of nine days of police custody. Bail petitions of Riyazathullah, Srinivasa Gowda, Ashok Kumar and Shankare Gowda were reserved for order on August 14 by the court.