New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Thursday (November 5) arrested former Karnataka minister and Congress leader Vinay Kulkarni in connection with the murder of BJP worker Yogesh Gowda in June 2016. Yogesh Gowda, who was a member of Dharwad Zila Panchayat, was murdered when he was coming out from a Gym in Dharwad. 

The local police registered the murder case and arrested 6 accused citing personal rivalry but the family said that Yogesh was murdered because of political rivalry. Despite the Gowda family’s allegation, police didn’t question Vinay and ruled out the angle of political rivalry.

After the change in government, the Yogesh murder case was handed over to the CBI on 24th September 2019. Commencing its investigation, the central probe agency arrested 8 accused and filed the charge sheet on 21st May 2020. 

According to the CBI charge sheet, the murder of Yogesh Gowda was pre-planned and cited that the accused had visited Dharwad twice in June 2016, and got killed Yogesh with the help of local criminals.

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The CBI is also investigating laxity on part of the local police and questioned former Police Commissioner Hubballi-Dharwad Pandurang Rane and DCP of Dharwad as to why the police failed to question former minister Vinay Kulkarni despite allegations against him.

Vinay Kulkarni was Mines and Geology minister from October 2015 to May 2018 in the Congress-led Karnataka government.

The former Congress MLA from Dharwad, Kulkarni was taken into custody today evening by the CBI after almost a day-long questioning regarding his alleged role in the murder conspiracy.

It may be noted that Kulkarni had won the Dharwad seat in 2013 but could not repeat the victory in 2018 when the BJP’s Amrut Ayyappa Desai defeated him in the assembly polls.

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