Updated: March 18, 2015 6:42:09 pm
As public outrage grew over the mysterious death of an upright IAS officer, his family refused to accept he had committed suicide, suspecting it to be murder, and demanded a CBI probe, an issue on which opposition stalled the Assembly proceedings for the second day on Wednesday.
With emotions running high, IAS officer D K Ravi’s family in a sudden move, staged a dharna in front of the Vidhana Soudha, the state secretariat, demanding “justice” and a probe by CBI, even as the government refused to budge to a similar demand by the Opposition parties in the Assembly.
Ravi’s father Kariyappa, mother Gowramma and brother Ramesh staged a protest in front of the Vidhana Soudha and threatened suicide if their demand was not met, a development that brought a rattled administration under more pressure.
“We only want a CBI probe. We want justice,’ Gowramma said, with the other two also echoing the same, as the family hinted at “political pressure” on Ravi, who was found hanging from a ceiling fan at a room in his apartment on Monday evening, with government saying it was prima facie a case of suicide.
“We don’t want to meet anyone, we want justice, and if they don’t give us justice we will commit suicide here,” Gowramma said.
Ramesh said, “It is not suicide, I suspect it to be murder… we don’t know who has murdered him, so investigation has to be handed over to CBI only then we will know the truth behind it.”
“Our agitation will continue, we have said that our family will commit suicide if we don’t get justice…”
Sticking to their guns, the Opposition continued their nightlong dharna in the Assembly for the second day today demanding a CBI probe but the government refused to yield, maintaining a CID investigation would do.
As the House met for the day, members of both BJP and JDS assembled in the well of the House shouting slogans against the government demanding a CBI inquiry, alleging that attempts were being made to “hush up” the case.
“This is not a case to be handed over to CBI,” Chief Minister Siddaramaiah told reporters outside the Assembly.
In a surprise move just a day after handing over the case to CID, government today shifted Pronab Mohanty, Inspector General of Police, Criminal Investigation Department and brought in C H Pratap Reddy in his place. Mohanty has been made the IGP, Karnataka Lokayukta.
Siddaramaiah,who is facing Opposition and public pressure for ordering a CBI probe into the case that has triggered outrage across the state, said the CID would conduct an impartial and speedy inquiry to bring out the truth.
But not happy with the government stand, Opposition BJP leader Jagadish Shettar alleged in the Assembly that “an attempt is being made to hush up this issue. Only CBI can do an honest investigation in this case.”
The House was adjourned till afternoon in the pre-lunch session and for the day as the Opposition BJP and JDS members persisted with its protest.
35-year old D K Ravi, Additional Commissioner of Commercial Taxes (Enforcement), was a popular bureaucrat for being gutsy and honest in taking on the land and sand mafia and tax evaders, with reports that he was facing threats.
“My son wouldn’t have committed suicide. He is not like that. He was strong hearted. My son was not a coward; I had not given birth to a son who could commit suicide,” Gowramma said.
“He was a son of this country. I have a lost son of this country….,” an inconsolable Gowramma said, as the government came in the line of fire from the Opposition parties and others for the suicide theory given by police.
“My younger brother died because of political pressure,” Ravi’s brother Ramesh said as he broke down. “I don’t know whether we will get justice.”
There should be an impartial inquiry into the incident, the IAS officer’s father-in-law Hanumanthrayappa said.
Asked whether Ravi had told anyone about the threats he was facing, Gowramma said, “He did not tell me what he was going through, I don’t know about it, he doesn’t share with me all this.
To a query, Hanumanthrayappa said, “S A Narayana Swamy, MLA, was involved (in a land issue).” He said the MLA was the one who sold the land to a group with multiple business interests. “It was a government land and government recovered it. The matter has reached High Court; there are media reports about it.”
Asked if there was a direct threat from Narayana Swamy or the company and whether Ravi shared this with police or the family, he said he had advised his son-in-law to approach the Chief Secretary or the Chief Minister.
“I believe he might have informed it to the Chief Secretary, but he did not meet Chief Minister,” he added.
Narayanaswamy denied he had links with any group, asserting he had not held out any threats to Ravi. “I have not held out any type of threat, telephonically or otherwise. When there is no link with any group, why will I hold out any threats?”
“Is it possible to make any threatening calls to the Deputy Commissioner?. Would he have kept quiet if I had made any threatening call,” Narayanaswamy said.
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