Vinay Kulkarni’s former personal Secretary arrested, grilled in ZP member murder case

After a lull, there is new development in the case pertaining to slain zilla panchayat member Yogeeshgouda Goudar with the CBI sleuths arresting the former Personal Secretary of jailed former Minister Vinay Kulkarni Somu Nyamagouda on Thursday.

Mr. Nyamagouda, a KAS officer, is now serving as Secretary of Byadgi APMC and holding additional charge as Secretary in Gadag and Tiptur APMCs.

Mr. Nyamagouda had served as Personal Secretary of the former Minister of Mines and Geology Vinay Kulkarni, who has already been arrested by the CBI in the case.

According to sources, Mr. Nyamagouda was picked up from his residence in Gadag by the CBI sleuths and brought to Dharwad Suburban Police Station for questioning. The questioning continued till late night. He was produced before a court via video conference and the court granted one-day police custody.

After being brought to Dharwad, Mr. Nyamagouda was taken to District Civil Hospital for COVID-19 test and general health check-up before being taken to the Suburban Police Station. Mr. Nyamagouda was questioned by the CBI earlier also. This time, he was reportedly questioned with regard to the former Minister’s tour programme and the documents pertaining to it.

Meanwhile, on Thursday, the CBI sleuths interrogated several others at the Dharwad Suburban Police Station in connection with the murder. They included the main accused in the murder case Basavaraj Mutagi, the former Vice-President of Dharwad Zilla Panchayat Shivanand Karigar, wife of the slain leader Mallamma, Congress leader Nagaraj Gouri and Vivek, who had worked as trainer at Uday Gym (now closed) run by Yogeeshgouda Goudar.

Yogeeshgouda Goudar, a zilla panchayat member of the BJP from Hebballi constituency in Dharwad district, was hacked to death on June 15, 2016 at his Uday Gym at Saptapur in Dharwad.

Although the local police made arrests, the then Opposition BJP and Yogeeshgouda Goudar’s elder brother had demanded CBI inquiry. After the BJP came to power in the State, it handed over the case to the CBI which arrested Mr. Vinay Kulkarni on November 5, 2020. He is now lodged in Hindalga Central Prison in Belagavi.

Vinay Kulkarni’s bail plea has been rejected by the High Court of Karnataka. Mr. Kulkarni’s counsel have now moved the Supreme Court. And, on Thursday, hearing on his application was adjourned to July 26.

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