Willing to surrender before minister: Bengaluru ex-corporator

Bengaluru: Bengaluru’s former independent corporator V. Nagaraj, evading arrest since April 14 after seizure of demonetised currency from his office-cum-residence, on Tuesday offered to surrender before Karnataka Home Minister G. Parameshwara.

“My (other) condition for surrender is that police should withdraw cases foisted against me,” said Nagaraj.

“Parameshwara is a gentleman. I trust him more than Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who is corrupt and untrustworthy. I am ready to surrender before the Home Minister,” Nagaraj said in an audio-video clipping his counsel Sriram Reddy released to Kannada news channels here.

Nagaraj, 54, was a corporator of Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) in 2002-07 from Prakashnagar ward.

He is absconding after police raided his office-cum-residence in the city’s western suburbs and allegedly seized Rs 14.8 crore in demonetised Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes from there.

Police has formed three special teams to look for Nagaraj.

“I have no comments to offer on Nagaraj’s conditions to surrender. We are looking for him and his two sons,” Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime) Hemant Nimbalkar told reporters here.

A city court on May 5 rejected Nagaraj’s anticipatory bail plea filed on April 17. He was fearing arrest on charge of exchanging banned notes for new ones after the November 8 demonetisation.

In another audio-video tape on April 22, Nagaraj accused police of filing a false case against him and feigned ignorance about the source of banned notes found on his premises.

“I know nothing about the banned notes. They belong to the Chief Minister’s Special Personal Assistant Manjunath. The raid on my house and office is illegal as it has been carried out without a court warrant to implicate me in money laundering or eliminate me in an encounter,” the former corporator had claimed.