A ‘search operation’ conducted on Friday morning by two unidentified people at a Holenarasipur taluk priest’s house in Haradanahalli, the home of former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda, left the Hassan district administration in a dilemma. The two people who came to the Deveshwara temple around 10 a.m. by a vehicle carrying a yellow registration plate. Then Prakash Bhat, the priest, took him to his residence near the temple. The two men took the telephone from the priest and searched for his almirah and the kitchen. They also asked if any cash had been received from the family of the priest and asked him who he thought would win the seat of Hassan. They returned the telephone and soon after they left the house. The visit’s news spread and a media section reported it was an Income Tax officer’s raid. The reports were denied by the I-T Department, however. The administration of the district of Hassan also clarified that none of its officials visited the home of the priest.
Priyanka Mary Francis, Deputy Commissioner of Hassan, confirmed that none of her officers had visited the house. “I have informed the Superintendent of Police of Hassan to look into the issue. So far, we don’t know who they were. The I-T Department has also clarified that it had not sent anybody,” she said.
When asked if an inquiry would be conducted by the administration, the DC said the family of the priest would first have to file a complaint. Senior police officers and officials from the Revenue Department also visited the village late at night and gathered details about the incident from the priest’s family.