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MLA Booked for Obstructing Officials in Belthangady Police Station


Karnataka BJP MLA Harish Poonja found himself in legal trouble once again after being booked for obstructing an official from discharging duties. The incident unfolded at the Belthangady police station, where Poonja demanded the release of a rowdy sheeter, resulting in a confrontation with police officials.


Incident Details

The altercation occurred on Friday evening when the police arrested one Shashiraj for alleged illegal quarrying in Melanthabettu village, Dakshina Kannada district. Shashiraj, serving as the taluk president of the BJP Yuva Morcha unit, faced arrest, prompting Poonja and his supporters to storm the police station, advocating for the accused’s release. Poonja’s actions escalated to a sit-in protest outside the station, captured in videos circulated on social media platforms.

Allegations and Legal Action

Poonja’s demand for Shashiraj’s release, citing his BJP affiliation, led to a confrontation with police officials. Dakshina Kannada police accused Poonja of abusing and threatening officials, obstructing their duties, and using unparliamentary language against the department. Consequently, the police filed a complaint against Poonja under Sections 353 and 504 of the Indian Penal Code.

Quarrying Operation and Political Reaction

Shashiraj, along with Pramod Ujire, allegedly operated an illegal quarry, leading to the seizure of equipment and explosives during police raids. While Shashiraj faced arrest, Ujire managed to evade capture. The incident drew political commentary, with the Karnataka unit of the Congress criticizing Poonja’s actions and questioning the role of an MLA in protecting individuals involved in criminal activities.

Previous Legal Entanglements

This isn’t the first time Poonja has faced legal repercussions for obstructing officials. In a previous incident in October last year, he was accused of abusing a forest official involved in clearing encroachments in forest land.

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