Truck accident was not a bid on Hegde’s life, say Haveri cops
BENGALURU/HAVERI/KARWAR: Police have rejected claims of foul play by Union minister Anantkumar Hegde after he had a narrow escape on Tuesday night when a truck hit his escort vehicle near Haveri on Pune-Bengaluru highway.
“A deliberate attempt on my life seems to have been executed just now. A truck on NH, near Halageri in Ranebennur taluk of Haveri district, has hit my escort vehicle which tried to hit my vehicle in the first instance. Since our vehicle was in top speed, we escaped the hit,” Hegde had tweeted soon after the accident.
Debunking Hegde’s accusation, home minister R Ramalinga Reddy said police have prima facie ruled out any foul play, but he has still asked them to probe the alleged accident.
Police officials investigating the case said the truck driver, Nassir Ahamad Mafize from Chikkamagaluru district, was detained and questioned but they found no evidence to prove that he had any deliberate intention to cause the accident. “He was also normal and tests showed no traces of alcohol consumption,” they added.
Haveri SP K Parashuram said prime facie, it appeared to be an accident but police are doing background check of both the owner and the driver of the truck and details of their mobile calls before taking a final call. “We have formed a team headed by the Ranebennur DySP to probe the case,” he added.
According to the SP, the truck registered at Chikkamagaluru RTO (KA-18, A-8733) belongs to one Rashid, a timber merchant from Chikkamagaluru and he had dispatched a truckload of timber to Hubballi. The incident occurred when the truck was returning from Hubballi to Shivamogga with some groceries. “The truck hit the escort vehicle as Mafize drove his vehicle in the wrong direction on a one-way road to reach the highway at Halageri cross,” Parashuram said.
Haveri police’s rejection of foul play theory though has upset the calculations of Hegde and his supporters, who had tried to paint the incident as an ‘attempt to kill the minister’ and gain sympathy closer to polls.
Hegde, who was under attack from his own partymen for goof-ups in the distribution of party tickets for assembly constituencies of Uttara Kannada district, was looking to keep the accident issue alive to wriggle out of the controversy, party sources said.
Get latest news & live updates on the go on your pc with News App. Download The Times of India news app for your device. Read more India news in English and other languages.