BJP MP's Brother Arrested In Karnataka After 126 Trees Worth Crores Felled
The brother of BJP MP Pratap Simha, who hit headlines for the massive breach in Parliament security earlier this month, has been arrested in connection with the felling of trees worth crores
The brother of BJP MP Pratap Simha, who hit headlines for the massive breach in Parliament security earlier this month, was arrested in connection with the felling of trees worth crores.
Vikram Simha, who was arrested by the Organised Crime squad of Central Crime Branch, was in the custody of forest department. He was released in the evening after a court granted him bail.
As many as 126 trees worth crores were felled in Karnataka's Hassan district and transported elsewhere. An official report said "available documentary evidence" hinted at his involvement in the crime. Forest officials had been looking for Vikram Simha, but he escaped. The officials used electronic surveillance to track down Vikram to Bengaluru.
The forest officials reached out to the Organised Crime team and Vikram Simha was arrested in a joint operation.
After his release, he said, "The truth has won today. You have all supported me and helped my truth win. I'm very happy. This is all political conspiracy. Truth has won at the court."
Responding to his brother's arrest, the BJP MP brought up the cheque bounce case involving Karnataka minister Madhu Bangarappa.
"Madhu Bangarappa is involved in a check bounce case worth Rs 6.5 crore. That invites a jail term of six months by the court. But my brother is arrested," he said. Mr Simha questioned Chief Minister Siddaramaiah if he is "going to sacrifice my family for your son's future".
His brother's arrest came at a tough time for the BJP MP, who is already drawing fire from the Opposition after his name came up in the Parliament breach case. One of the intruders who trespassed into Lok Sabha on December 13 was carrying a visitor's pass issued by Pratap Simha's office. The BJP had later told Speaker Om Birla that the intruder's father was a resident of his constituency and had asked for a pass to visit Parliament.
The Opposition has questioned why no action has been taken against Mr Simha yet, even though 146 MPs were suspended for unruly conduct after they demanded a statement from Union Home Minister Amit Shah on the massive security breach.
Mr Simha recently said the people will decide if he was a patriot or a traitor in the Lok Sabha elections due next year. "Whether Pratap Simha is a traitor or a patriot -- mother Goddess Chamundeshwari sitting on the hills of Mysuru, mother Goddess Cauvery who is sitting on Brahmagiri, my reader fans across Karnataka who have been reading my writings for the last twenty years, and people of Mysuru and Kodgu who have seen my work for 9.5 years and my conduct on issues related country, dharma and nationalism -- will give their verdict through votes in Lok Sabha polls to be held in April 2024," said the journalist-turned-politician.
The Congress has questioned why the BJP MP has not been questioned so far. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi has, however, said, Mr Simha's statement had been recorded as part of the probe.