Udayavni Special

Vinay Kulkarni, supporters booked for violating COVID-19 protocol


Team Udayavani, Aug 22, 2021, 10:39 AM IST

Belagavi: Former minister Vinay Kulkarni on Saturday was released from Hindalga Central Prisons on bail and was welcomed by hundreds of supporters out of the jail.

However, soon after his release, the police filed three cases against Kulkarni and his supporters for violating Covid-19 norms with a weekend curfew in place.

The followers of Kulkarni had organized a procession for his welcome. Police officials booked a suo motu FIR against over 300 people, including Kulkarni and Belagavi rural MLA Laxmi Hebbalkar, for the violations.

“My brother has been released one day before Rakhi. Thus, I am waiting to tie him Rakhi,” Hebbalkar said.

Kulkarni was taken in a procession in an open car from Hindalaga village to Rani Channamma Circle. The road was decorated with flowers along procession route. The celebration caused a traffic jam on Belagavi-Hindalaga Road.

However, Kulkarni defended his supporters holding a welcome rally, saying it was the “expression of happiness of innocent voters”.

“The government had no moral right to stop his rallies or book him for violations when it was openly supporting the BJP’s Janashirvad rallies. My supporters are not politicians. They are just innocent voters,” he said.

Kulkarni, who was a minister in the Siddaramaiah-led Congress government, was accused of conspiring the murder his political opponent and zilla panchayat member Yogesh Gowda.

The Supreme Court had granted him bail in the murder case earlier but he had to stay in prison as he couldn’t obtain bail regarding the destruction of evidence case.

With the special court’s order granting him conditional bail, Kulkarni was released from prison in Belgavi where he had been lodged for the last nine months, but can’t go to his native district Dharwad until the court approves.

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