K'taka Mahila Cong chief accuses cops of harassing truck owners

| Updated: Jul 18, 2016 22:09 IST

Bengaluru, July 18 (ANI): Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee women's wing president Laxmi Hebbalkar, who has come under sharp criticism for allegedly trying to use her position to pressure a police officer to release trucks seized for transporting sand during banned hours in the district, today justified her move and said that she turned emotional as the men in uniform were harassing them. Hebbalkar stated that the truck drivers had proper permits and were not doing anything illegal. "Around 15-16 truck owners from my constituency came to me. Their trucks were seized two days back and kept in police stations. They were not doing anything illegal, they had permits. So, I called up the PSI and asked," Hebbalkar told ANI. "Whenever the people of my constituency are in trouble, they come to me for help. I am a politician and I have to stand up for my people. If am not able to speak for the people I represent, what is the point in becoming a leader," she added. Responding to a poser as to why did she summon the cop, the Congress leader said the police officer in question has broken the rules by recording the conversation and making it public. Demanding that an inquiry be ordered into the matter, Hebbalkar said, "I was a bit angry and emotional at that time. I was emotional as my people were harassed. So, I asked the PSI to meet me. It was not right on his part to record the conversation and make it public." "If he felt I was interfering in his work then he could have spoken to his senior," she added. In a telephone conversation, Hebbalkar is heard questioning PSI Udappa Kattikar for seizing 15 sand-laden trucks and even demanding that he meet her. The PSI is attached to the City Crime Investigation Bureau. An audio recording of the conversation, made available to certain media houses, has since gone viral. As per the conversation, it is understood that the PSI was following the orders of Deputy Commissioner N. Jayaram, who had given clear instructions to his subordinates not to allow passage of trucks with or without permit from 6 p.m. onwards as a measure to curb illegal sand trade in the area. The case relates to the PSI seizing 15 trucks near Basavan Kudachi in Malmaruti Police Station limits at around 11 p.m. on July 1. (ANI)