Right-wing activist dupes K’tka businessman of crores by offering BJP ticket; arrestedtext_fields
Bengaluru: The Karnataka police have apprehended a right-wing activist, Chaitra Kundapur, along with two of her associates, Gagan Kadur and Srikanth Naik, for allegedly deceiving a businessman, Govind Babu Pujari, out of crores of rupees by promising him a BJP ticket to contest in the Assembly elections earlier this year.
Acting on a tip-off, officers from the Central Crime Branch (CCB) executed the arrest in Udupi, culminating in Kundapur's failed attempt to swallow a valuable item during her apprehension. The police successfully prevented her from destroying evidence and transported her to Bengaluru for further investigation, according to a report published in The Indian Express.
It has come to light that Kundapur had taken refuge at the residence of Youth Congress leader Suraiyya Anjum before her arrest, prompting authorities to serve a notice to Anjum, compelling her to cooperate with the ongoing investigation.
Chaitra Kundapur has a history of legal troubles, with multiple cases filed against her for delivering derogatory and provocative speeches against various communities, further escalating concerns about her activities.
The case unravelled when Govind Babu Pujari, a resident of Bengaluru, filed a formal complaint on September 8, 2023. Pujari's complaint outlined a series of events that began in June 2022 when he first encountered Kundapur. He alleged that Kundapur introduced him to Gagan Kadur, the Chikkamagalur Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) secretary, who claimed to have influential connections in the Prime Minister's Office and the Union Home Minister's office.
Kadur reportedly assured Pujari of securing a BJP ticket through Vishwanath, an alleged RSS leader based in North India. On July 7, Pujari handed over Rs 50 lakh to Kadur in front of the Shivamogga RSS office, believing that this would secure him the coveted BJP ticket.
Kundapur organized conference calls during which Vishwanath, the supposed RSS leader, confirmed that central BJP leaders had approved Pujari's ticket. In September 2022, Vishwanath instructed Pujari to meet Hirehadagali Abhinava Halasri mutt seer, who demanded an additional Rs 1.5 crore, claiming to have connections with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Pujari complied and paid the sum.
The alleged scam deepened when Pujari was asked to pay an additional Rs 3 crore to a leader claiming to be part of the BJP's central election committee on October 23. Pujari handed over the money to Kundapur and her team on October 29, 2022.
However, on March 8, 2023, Pujari received news that Vishwanath had passed away due to breathing difficulties. Sensing deception, he sought the counsel of a retired defence officer friend who confirmed that there was no RSS leader named Vishwanath.
On April 24, Pujari confronted Kundapur and Kadur, demanding the return of his money. Kundapur threatened to stage a suicide attempt and insisted on more time to return the funds.
Pujari then initiated his investigation, ultimately revealing that Ramesh, not Vishwanath, had impersonated the RSS leader, and Srikanth Naik, introduced as a BJP central election committee member, was, in fact, a street-side kabab vendor in Bengaluru.