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Karnataka Congress Leader Accused of Assaulting Fellow MLA Seeks Bail, Says ‘Acted in Self-Defence’

MLA JN Ganesh said the incident has been distorted to make him appear like a villain and there was no reason to believe that he was guilty of any offence that is punishable with death or life imprisonment.

Revathi Rajeevan | CNN-News18

Updated:March 4, 2019, 9:31 PM IST

Bengaluru: Suspended Congress MLA JN Ganesh on Saturday approached a special court for people’s representatives in Bengaluru seeking bail in an attempt to murder case.

Ganesh, who had allegedly assaulted fellow MLA Anand Singh in January, said in his bail application that he had only acted in self-defence. He said his party leaders had stopped him from getting hospitalised for his injuries or complaining against the assault.

“He (Ganesh) had every reason to believe at that point of time that if he did not act, he would be done to death,” the application said.

At present, Ganesh is undergoing treatment at Victoria hospital. After evading arrests for about a month since the incident, Ganesh was held on February 20. A day later, he was remanded in judicial custody.

The bail application said he was initially being treated in the prison hospital, before being shifted to Victoria hospital on February 26.

On the intervening night of January 19 and 20, when the Congress legislators were holed up at a plush resort on the outskirts of Bengaluru, Ganesh said he had only followed Singh to his room “like Mary's lamb” when invited for another round of drinks.

The MLA said the incident has been distorted to make him appear like a villain and there was no reason to believe that he was guilty of any offence that is punishable with death or life imprisonment.

Submitting photos in his defence, Ganesh said, “These are extracts of the video record made by MLA Bheema Naik while the complainant was abusing and provoking the petitioner (Ganesh).”

According to the FIR, the fight began when the two were returning to their rooms after dinner and Ganesh asked Anand why the latter had not helped him financially during last year's elections. Following this, Ganesh allegedly threatened to “finish off” Anand's nephew Sandeep.

"When I asked him why he was bringing family into this, he threatened to finish me off. He then abused me and hit me with a wooden log and flower pots on my face and head," said Anand Singh, MLA of Vijayanagara constituency in Bellary district, in his statement to police.

"He then pushed my head against the wall, asked for a gun to finish me off. When I fell down, he stamped me on my stomach and face, saying "die, die," the FIR stated.

However, Ganesh said Singh, who was responsible for the former’s defeat in a previous election, made derogatory remarks about his caste. “Singh continued to abuse him and another MLA, Bhima Nayak. Following several verbal exchanges, Singh and Nayak got into an altercation when Ganesh intervened,” the statement said.

After sometime, Singh, who was under the influence of alcohol, tore apart Ganesh’s shirt, pushed him down and assaulted with a bed lamp. Fearing for his life, Ganesh, pushed Singh, who fell on articles that were lying on the floor. Getting up, he again kicked Ganesh in the corridor even as he Nayak and his bodyguards tried to stop him.

When Ganesh woke up in the morning, he learnt from minister DK Shivakumar and others that Singh had been hospitalised.

The bail application said that when Ganesh showed his injuries and wanted to go to hospital, Shivakumar and other party leaders advised against the same saying it would bring a bad name to the party.

Instead, Shivakumar got a doctor named Shashikiran from the Bidadi community health centre (a government hospital) to treat him.

Ganesh said that while he had obliged to the party leaders’ request of not filing a complaint, Singh did not do so.

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