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With the BJP demanding a CBI probe into the mysterious death of a Karnataka-cadre IAS officer in Lucknow amid suspicions of foul play behind it, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Friday said his government will cooperate in any enquiry into it. Tiwari, a 2007-batch IAS officer serving as commissioner of the Food, Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs Department, was found dead under mysterious circumstances by a roadside in Lucknow’s Hazratganj area on May 17 morning.
“He (Tiwari) is a Karnataka officer, he has died there (Lucknow). We don’t know what the reason is. Post-mortem examination report says death was due to the cardiac arrest. Let them (UP police) do any enquiry, government will give all co-operation,” Siddaramaiah told reporters in Bengaluru.
Asked about the suspicions that Tiwari may have been murdered because he was probing into a scam involving the food department, he said, “Don’t say all these things just because someone is saying it. Let them investigate, everything will be known.” The Uttar Pradesh police set up a Special Investigation Team yesterday to probe into Tiwari’s death. Tiwari’s father B N Tiwari has alleged his son was eliminated, while his brother Mayank has demanded a CBI probe into the matter.
“My son was very honest. Corrupt officers did not like him. They must have somehow got him murdered,” he had said. The Karnataka government had on May 17 sent two senior officials to Lucknow to get details of Tiwari’s death. Speaking to reporters in Chitradurga, state BJP President B S Yeddyurappa demanded a CBI probe into the case.
“His (Tiwari’s) brother has said he was murdered as he was unearthing about Rs 2,000 crore scam in the Food department. The chief minister has to take direct responsibility for this,” he said. “As this is a matter that is of concern to Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka, I urge that the case be immediately handed over to the CBI for the truth to come out.” “If the chief minister is honest, he has to order a CBI enquiry or else the Uttar Pradesh chief minister will do it.”
BJP MP Shobha Karandlaje, who has spoken to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath about the case, has also written to him for a second time since the incident took place, expressing suspicion of foul play behind Tiwari’s death.
Reminding him of her May 17 letter requesting a thorough probe as the tragedy looks “murky,” Karandlaje in her letter today, said “Now I am getting information from credible sources that Tiwari could be a victim of food grain smuggling mafia. This is what middle-level officials in Karnataka government are discussing among themselves in hushed tones.” Stating that a multi-crore scam was unearthed in the Department of Food and Civil Supplies some time ago, she said Tiwari was probing it in his capacity as commissioner and he is said to have prepared a detailed dossier about the scandal. This is one important angle which needs to be probed, she said
Citing similar fears expressed by Tiwari’s brothers, Karandlaje said the matter warrants a CBI investigation since the entire episode involves two states. Tiwari, who had also served as deputy commissioner in Bidar and Kodagu districts in the past was staying at Meera Bai guest house with a batch mate after attending a mid-career training programme at Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration in Mussoorie.
He was in his sleepwear when he was found dead on May 17, which also happened to be his birthday. Expressing grief over the officer’s death, Karnataka Food and Civil Supplies Minister U T Khader had said Tiwari had sought permission for the programme and had again sought extension on May 10.