Bengaluru’s Central Crime Branch (CCB) police apprehended Chaitra Kundapura, a former member of the Akhila Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and a Hindutva activist, along with three accomplices on the evening of September 12. Their arrest stems from allegations of defrauding businessman Govind Babu Pujari, who filed a complaint with the Bandepalya police, asserting that Chaitra and her associates duped him of a staggering Rs 5 crore.
To secure him a coveted BJP ticket for the recently concluded Karnataka Assembly elections. This incident has sent shockwaves through the political landscape, shedding light on the intricate web of deceit and ambition that sometimes entangles individuals in the pursuit of power.
Chaitra Kundapura’s background as a former TV anchor with a penchant for provocative anti-Muslim rhetoric has drawn considerable attention. She has been a prominent speaker at numerous events organized by the Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad, where her speeches often carried divisive undertones. In October 2021, the Surathkal police filed an FIR against her for delivering a hate speech during a program hosted by the Bajrang Dal and Durga Vahini.
During this event, she controversially claimed that Hindu groups could convert Muslims and compel them to don kumkum (vermilion), a statement that ignited outrage and further deepened the tensions surrounding her public persona. Chaitra’s self-identification as a proud ‘ABVPien,’ as reflected in her social media profiles, underscores her strong affiliation with the Akhila Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad and its associated ideologies, making her a notable figure in the intersection of politics and public discourse.
In his formal complaint, Govind Babu leveled a grave accusation against Chaitra Kundapura and a group of seven accomplices, outlining an intricate scheme that tantalized him with the promise of securing the highly sought-after MLA ticket from Byndoor in Udupi district for the upcoming May 2023 Assembly elections. The unfolding of this financial saga, as detailed in the First Information Report (FIR), dates back to July of the preceding year and unfurled its complexity until March 2023.
However, suspicions began to creep in as the alleged wrongdoers repeatedly insisted that the substantial funds had been entrusted to an RSS leader by the name of Vishwanath, who, upon investigation, appeared to be nothing more than a phantom figure. When Govind Babu insisted on the return of his substantial investment, Chaitra Kundapura and her associate Gagan Kadur abruptly vanished from the scene, compelling him to turn to the authorities for assistance in unravelling this intricate web of deception and deceit.
Govind Babu revealed that Chaitra and Gagan went to great lengths, even hiring a person named Ramesh to pretend to be someone called Vishwanath, who didn’t actually exist. The complainant also mentioned that he gave Rs 1.5 crore to a seer named Abhinava Halasri, believing it was at the request of this imaginary Vishwanath.
Additionally, he made an extra payment of Rs 3.5 crore to the accused. The FIR also noted that the accused had convinced Govind Babu of their strong connections with influential BJP figures. These tactics ultimately led to significant payments and a total financial loss of Rs 5 crore for Govind Babu.