BJP MLA Harish Poonja questioned, house searched for ‘creating ruckus’ at police station

MP Nalin Kumar Kateel and other leaders also reached the residence of Harish Poonja to extend their support.


Published May 23, 2024 | 12:21 PMUpdatedMay 23, 2024 | 12:21 PM

The BJP MLA was initially booked after he barged into the police station and abusing the officers. (Harish Poonja/Facebook)

A police team searched the residence of BJP MLA Harish Poonja in Dakshina Kannada district on Wednesday, 22 May, and allegedly questioned him in connection with a case relating to creating a ruckus at Belthangady police station.

On 19 May, Poonja allegedly barged into the police station and demanded the release of an associate who was involved in illegal quarry mining.

Scores of BJP workers gathered in front of Poonja’s house today after the news of his impending ‘arrest’ spread.

“The police cannot just barge into somebody’s house and arrest somebody. When we enquired with the police, they said they were there to ‘inquire’ about the illegal mining case of Poonja’s friend and party worker Shashiraj Shetty, who has been arrested by the police,” Poonja’s lawyer Shambu Sharma told reporters.

However, following arguments, the MLA was served a notice asking him to appear at the police station to attend an inquiry session over the case, in two days.

An FIR was registered against the BJP legislator under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code for obstructing the police from discharging their duty after forcibly entering the station to secure the release of Shetty.

Also Read: Fresh FIR filed against Karnataka BJP MLA Harish Poonja for abusing cops to free rowdy sheeter

BJP extends support to the MLA

MP Nalin Kumar Kateel and other leaders also reached the residence of Poonja to extend their support.

Karnataka BJP chief BY Vijayendra also condemned the police action against Poonja and warned of state-level agitation if the charges against the MLA were not dropped.

The state BJP unit on Wednesday likened Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to “Hitler” and alleged that the law and order situation in Karnataka has “completely collapsed”.

“Who said Hitler is dead? He still rules Karnataka with a different name, @siddaramaiah. Karnataka Police is all set to arrest @HPoonja, an MLA from Belthangady, for being the voice of local BJP karyakarthas. Last week, police arrested an influencer for questioning the Congress Manifesto, and today this. The state has witnessed 430+ murders in the last 4 months.”

The law and order situation has completely collapsed, yet the priority is to arrest those who raise their voice against injustice,” the saffron party said in a post on ‘X’.

Mohabbat Ki Dukan is a place where people shouting ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ walk free, but if you raise your voice against injustice done to ‘Karyakarthas‘, you will be behind bars,” it read.

Following the face-off between the Police and BJP workers at the MLA’s house, Kateel said, “There is a definite design of the State government led by Siddaramiah to harass and malign the MLAs of the opposition party in the district and elsewhere also. In the case of Harish Poonja, the state government has exerted pressure on the Police in the district to act against Punja.”

He warned the police against acting at the behest of the Congress leaders in the government. “I am sure the police will not risk that eventuality and act rationally under the police act and the provisions of the Constitution and relevant sections.”

Related: BJP MLA Harish Poonja booked for abusing police

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