Special court in Bengaluru summons BJP MLA Harish Poonja, 64 others

Those involved are required to appear before the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate's Court on 10 July for a formal inquiry.

BySouth First Desk

Published Jun 29, 2024 | 10:49 AM Updated Jun 29, 2024 | 10:49 AM

File photo of Harish Poonja

A special court for public representatives in Bengaluru has summoned BJP MLA Harish Poonja along with 64 other party members.

The summons relates to allegations of obstructing police from doing their duties during protests against the arrest of Shashiraj Shetty, the BJP Belthangady Taluk Yuva Morcha taluk president.

Poonja and others will have to appear before the court on 10 July.

The Beltangady police have registered two separate cases. Summons have been issued for 28 individuals in the first case and 37 in the second case.

Those involved are required to appear before the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate’s Court on 10 July for a formal inquiry.

Also Read: Fresh FIR filed against Karnataka BJP MLA Harish Poonja for abusing cops 

Abusing police officers

The first case accuses MLA Poonja and other BJP workers of attempting to pressure the police to release rowdy sheeter and Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) mandal president Shashiraj Shetty, who was detained on charges of illegal quarrying.

On 19 May, Poonja was booked after he abused police personnel over their arrest of Shetty.

Poonja shared a video on his official Facebook account, where he could be heard abusing the on-duty police and pressuring them to release the arrested Yuva Morcha worker.

He has been booked on Sections 353 (preventing public servants from discharging their duty) and 504 (offences against public tranquillity and peace) of the IPC.

The Dakshina Kannada SP confirmed this to South First and had said: “He has misbehaved with police. That is unbecoming of an MLA.”

Related: BJP MLA Harish Poonja booked for abusing police

Threatening police officers

The second case is linked to a protest held on 20 May outside an administrative building, opposing the FIR filed against Shetty.

In the second FIR, BJP lawmaker was booked for staging a protest in front of Belthangady Tahsildar’s office without permission from the authorities concerned, unlawful gathering, threatening, and abusing police officers.

The Dakshina Kannada police registered the second FIR for threatening officers.

“Belthangady MLA Harish Poonja and others have unlawfully staged a protest on 20 May. At the time of protest, MLA Poonja had stated that he would hold the police officer by the scruff for arresting the karyakarta,” the second FIR said.

“He further threatened that he would mete out the same fate to Belthangady Police Station as that of Bengaluru’s DJ Halli and KJ Halli police stations.”

DJ Halli and KJ Halli police stations in Bengaluru were set ablaze by rioters in August 2020.

Following the filing of chargesheets by the Belthangady police, the court decided to issue summons on Thursday, 27 June, marking the start of judicial proceedings scheduled for 10 July.

(With PTI inputs)

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