Bengaluru: The state government is likely to announce the constitution of the special investigation team (SIT) on Thursday to probe the audio tape scandal that has rocked the Assembly. According to top sources government is reportedly considering the names of the Inspector General of Police (Crime) Alok Kumar or IGP and Additional Commissioner of Police, Bengaluru (West zone) B.K. Singh to head the SIT. Singh was appointed as the head of SIT to investigate the murder of editor-activist Gauri Lankesh. The SIT had chargesheeted 19 accused in the case in November last year out of which 16 have been arrested.
The government had earlier zeroed in on two officers of the ranks of Additional Director Generals of Police to head the SIT but had reportedly dropped their names for various reasons, said an official source.
"There has been no final confirmation on the officer, who would head the SIT but it is not going to be an easy or desirable assignment for any officer. Investigation would require summoning of all the political leaders, who are involved directly or indirectly for questioning. In this case the SIT will have to question Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, Speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar, Opposition leader and BJP State party president B.S. Yedyurappa, his son B.Y. Vijayendra and the other JD(S), BJP MLAs, who have figured in the audio tape. The Lok Sabha elections will be announced in a fortnight's time and the government would expect to leverage from the investigation for the rallies and campaigns. For the BJP it may mean bad publicity at a time when they can least afford it, which is why they didn't want an SIT to investigate the audio scandal," he added.
Former chief minister Siddaramaiah during the Congress Legislature Party meeting on February 8 had asserted that the government should not settle for any other body other than SIT for a thorough investigation. Yedyurappa has opposed the SIT stating that it would not be appropriate for an agency under the CM to investigate a scandal in which he is the first accused and has instead, pressed for a House Committee or a judicial probe in the audiogate.
The controversial audio tape was released by Kumaraswamy on February 8. It has purported conversations among Yedyurappa, BJP MLA from Devadurga, Shivanagouda Nayak and Sharanagouda Kandakur - son of JD(S) MLA Naganagouda Kandakur in which the former two had allegedly sought to lure the JD(S) MLA with huge amounts of money and a minister's post while casting serious aspersions on the Assembly Speaker, who they had alleged has been "booked" to accept the resignations of the coalition MLAs.