New Delhi: Self-proclaimed soothsayer TDR Harischandra Gowda may have ‘predicted’ the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack in 2005, three years before the tragedy, but he clearly had no idea of what fate had in store for him.
Gowda, a 65-year-old resident of Karnataka's Shivamogga district, had filed a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking directions to conduct investigation against the authorities who failed to prevent the attack in 2008 though he had ‘predicted it’ three years earlier in 2005.
The Karnataka high court not only dismissed of the petition but also directed Gowda to pay Rs 5,000 apart from an undertaking before the court that he would not file such PILs in future. A division bench of Chief Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice R Devdas directed him to deposit the cost with the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund (Natural Calamity-2018) within 30 days, the New Indian Express reported.
Gowda, who argued the case on his own, presented a letter dated November 26, 2000, written to Congress leader DK Shivakumar, mentioning the likelihood of the 26/11 attack.
He had also claimed in the letter that the attack could be prevented if (then) Maharashtra chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh conducts a special puja at the Sri Venkataramana Swamy temple in Shivamogga district. A copy of the letter was marked to then defence minister AK Antony, Gowda claimed.
He added that then President Pratibha Patil had referred the matter to the ministry of home affairs on June 19, 2010, and he had also shot off a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2016 but to no avail. However, he had no answers to why he approached the court eight years after no action was taken on Patil’s reference.
Gowda, however, is no stranger to controversies. He has filed several PILs before the high court, including one where he sought directions to the governor to invite him to be sworn in as chief minister to form the government and make Karnataka free of corruption.