Noted Karnataka-based journalist and writer Ravi Belagere died in Bengaluru after suffering a heart attack early on Friday.
The 62-year-old Editor-in-Chief of ‘Hai Bangalore’, who redefined Kannada tabloid journalism, was in his office when he suffered the attack and was rushed to a private hospital.
Taking to Twitter, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa recalled Belagere’s works as a journalist and writer. “I pray to the almighty to give courage to his family and fans to bear the loss,” he posted on the micro-blogging site.
Belagere is survived by his two wives, two sons and two daughters. According to his family, his mortal remains will be kept at Prarthana School for the people to pay their last respects.
With a Master’s degree in History, Belagere started his career as a history lecturer in Ballari, his native place. He later arrived in Bengaluru and began working in a printing press.
In 1995, he began the Kannada tabloid, ‘Hai Bangalore’, which gradually became popular across the state.
Besides this, Belagere also authored at least 70 books on crime, politics, fiction, translation, storytelling, column writing and biography which nurtured a niche Kannada readership. His column in ‘Paapigala Lokadalli’, on the Bengaluru underworld, was also very popular.
Apart from writing, he was known for his unique narration skills and reporting for his show ‘Crime Diary’ which was aired by a private television channel in Kannada.
Belagere was a recipient of several awards, including the Karnataka Sahitya Academy Award, Rajyothsava award and the Karnataka Media Academy Award for Lifetime achievement among others.
The writer is also the founder of the Prarthana Education Society in Bengaluru which runs a chain of schools.
In 2017, he was arrested by the Central Crime Branch (CCB) of the Karnataka Police on charges of conspiring to kill a colleague. The agency said that Belagere had allegedly hired a contract killer to eliminate Sunil Heggaravalli, the tabloid’s chief crime reporter, whom he thought was having an affair with his second wife.
The alleged contract killing plot by Belagere came to the light while the police was investigating the murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh.
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