Wed, 05 May 2010 10:15:18 GMT

Karnataka’s `sex minister' Haratal Halappa vanishes

Bangalore: As the heat on former civil supplies minister Haratal Halappa of Karnataka intensified, the accused has `vanished’ from the police radar and public view.

Karnataka’s `sex minister' Haratal Halappa vanishes

Halappa, who has been accused of raping Chandravathi, wife of his one-time friend Venkatesh Murthy has 'vanished'

Hartal Halappa, who has been accused of raping Chandravathi, wife of his one-time friend Venkatesh Murthy, has not surfaced for the last two days and his phones continued to be switched off.

This move comes even as CID officials commenced their probe against Halappa. With reports indicating his imminent arrest, Halappa has reportedly gone underground.

A CID team headed by Lokesh Kumar started its investigations in Shimoga. Despite intensive `searching,' the team could not locate Halappa. Sources in the police say that the former minister has been told to go underground to avoid being arrested. Since self-styled godman Nithyananda was arrested after the charges against him surfaced, Halappa cannot be seen to get a different treatment.

In one last attempt to avoid arrest, Halappa is reportedly trying to get anticipatory bail. If he fails to do so, he will have no option but to surrender to the police.

The charges that have been levelled against Halappa include the IPC's sections 341 (wrongful restraint), 376 (rape) and 506, read with 34 (criminal intimidation). Earlier, Director General of Police Ajai Kumar Singh forwarded the 12-page complaint to the Shimoga SP.

The police team is also in a quandary. Sources say that unlike in the Nithyananda case, Chandravathi has not been able to produce any clinching evidence on the basis of which Halappa could be arrested immediately. Chandravathi has claimed that she has preserved the clothes she and Halappa wore when she was raped over five months ago. She now wants the clothes should be sent to a DNA test.

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