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Monday, April 22 2024
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Mangaluru

Venkatesh Prasanna accused of underworld association, blackmailing

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Mangaluru: City based hotelier Prabhkar Poonja has accused senior police officer Venkatesh Prasanna of having links with the underworld besides blackmailing and issuing life threats.

Demanding a probe into Prasanna’s alleged links with the underworld, Poonja said that the former had raided his hotel Poonja International in KS Rao Road here, during his stint as the head of the Dakshina Kannada district Crime Investigation Bureau, alleging that a prostitution racket has been operating from the hotel and when his claims fell flat, he demanded bribe. Poonja said that as he refused to the officer’s demand, he began to issue threats.

Poonja is planning to file defamation suit against Prasanna and an evening daily for allegedly touting him to have links with the underworld.

He said that few years ago, his friend KC Rao, who also is a hotelier, had received calls from a person who introduced himself as Bannanje Raja and demanded Rs 1 crore threatening that he would kill Rao and his family if he failed to adhere to Raja’s demand. Poonja said that Rao had handed over one such call to him after which, he spoke to the caller and tried to convince him that Rao was not having money and requested him to not make such calls. Poonja clarified that the call was the only time when he supposedly spoke to an underworld element.

Poonja further said that officer Prasanna demands ransom from star hoteliers and builders and if they refuse to pay heed, the officer passes their numbers to the underworld. He also went on to say that he has life threat and if anything happens to him, Prasanna should be held responsible.

Officer Prasanna holds a doctorate in Kannada literature and won a president’s medal in 2015. He worked in Mangaluru in various disciplines for about 15 years. He is now a part of the CCB police in Bengaluru.

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