MLA Harish Poonja faces FIR over alleged intimidation in illegal quarry case


PTI, May 20, 2024, 3:46 PM IST

An FIR has been filed against Belthangady MLA Harish Poonja for allegedly trying to coerce and influence the Belthangady police inspector and other personnel to release two accused persons in an illegal quarrying case, police said on Monday.

Outlining a string of incidents that resulted in the FIR against the MLA, the records stated that the police had arrested one Promod Ujire and Shashiraj Shetty for allegedly stockpiling illegally, several explosives and projectiles for use in blasting in the illegal quarries on May 18.

According to the police, on the night of May 18, Poonja, along with some of his followers, allegedly barged into the police station and demanded that both Ujire and Shetty be released immediately without any charges. When the police did not heed, the MLA allegedly intimidated the officials and argued with them.

The Shetty-Ujire duo had a mining site at Melantabettu under the jurisdiction of Beltangadi police station. A case has been registered as per the Explosives Act 1884 and for allegedly misbehaving under the relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code against MLA Poonja in Beltangad police station.

The FIR stated that Poonja and his followers allegedly prevented and pressured government servants against carrying out official work.

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