Imphal, June 3: The Karnataka government is handing over the Richard Loitam case to the Corps of Detectives, the state's investigating agency, following strong pressure from political parties and student bodies of Manipur.
Sources said Karnataka chief minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda has assured Manipur unit BJP president Sh. Shantikumar Sharma, who is now camping in Bangalore to put pressure on Karnataka government to deliver prompt justice, that the case would be handed over to the investigating agency.
Loitam, an Acharya's NRV School of Architecture student from Uripok of Imphal city was found dead in his hostel room in Bangalore on April 17 after he was allegedly assaulted by two hostel-mates the previous night.
The incident kicked up a storm, with student bodies of Manipur demanding a CBI inquiry.
Following mounting pressure from student bodies, the Okram Ibobi Singh government sent a police officer last month to Bangalore to assess the progress of the police investigation.
Shantikumar Sharma had left for Bangalore on May 20 after student bodies laid siege to the Manipur BJP office here last month, tearing down party signboards and a picture of party president Nitin Gadkari.
The students' action was prompted by the belief that Manipur BJP was not doing enough to pressurise the BJP government in Karnataka to unravel the truth.
"Our president is now camping in Bangalore waiting for the order for handing over of the case to the Corps of Detectives. The chief minister has assured him that the case would be handed over to the agency," Manipur BJP president in-charge, Salam Ibohal, told reporters today.
The Corps of Detectives was established in the criminal investigation department of Karnataka for investigating major crimes and cases.
The main task of the corps is to achieve maximum results in detection of crimes and also inspire public confidence in police administration.
The BJP announcement comes a day after six student organisations of Manipur announced their plan to send a joint delegation to Bangalore tomorrow to assess the progress of the investigation process.
A. Thoithoi, general secretary of the Democratic Students Alliance, Manipur, one of the six student groups, had said yesterday, "If the Karnataka government fails to respond positively to the student delegation, the BJP office in Manipur will be shut down."
Reacting to the threat, Ibohal said Manipur BJP was doing whatever necessary to ensure justice in the case.
"The BJP is always ready to work together with the students and people of Manipur to put pressure on the Karnataka government," he said.
He said the party had also raised the issue in both Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha.