In what comes as a major embarrassment for Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy, state tourism minister Sa Ra Mahesh triggered a huge controversy after he engaged in a spat with Tumakuru Superintendent of police Divya Gopinath during the last rites of Siddaganga mutt seer Shivakumara Swami in the state. The Karnataka minister allegedly yelled at the Tumakuru female cop, leaving her in tears.
As per reports, a video of the incident surfaced by media which shows the police officer preventing the Karnataka Minister from entering the mutt on Tuesday, due to the restriction in the number of people allowed inside. After which the state tourism minister abused Gopinath, leaving her in tears, according to eye-witnesses.
However, in spite of taking an action against the JD(S) minister, Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy came in his defence stating that the cop 'disrespected the minister' due to which the incident happened. He also said that 'disrespecting the state tourism minister is equal to disrespecting the CM'.
"ll tell you why Sa Ra Mahesh scolded the police officer because if you say there are restrictions and a Minister follows me, how can you stop him from entering but let others in. It's like you are disrespecting the minister. If my colleague (minister) is dishonoured it's equivalent to dishonouring me. It's unfortunate that certain things happened. I called the police officers and spoke to them. He resorted to that (snubbing) because it was disrespectful to a minister," said Kumaraswamy.
Moreover, in a veiled attack at the BJP party, he said, "you know who all were let in. Also, you saw where ministers were seated."
After the incident, Tumakuru cop Divya Gopinath stated that she was only doing her job, saying: “We have to do our job and I was doing it. We placed restrictions at specific points for smooth conduct of the event when such crowds gather at a place. Small issues do crop up, but the larger interest was ensuring that more people get a last glimpse of the seer."