When they think of Anurag Tewari, the Karnataka-cadre IAS officer who was found dead in Lucknow last week, his family and friends remember his brightness and cheerful nature. The CBI is probing the sudden death of the officer, 36, whose body was found outside a government guesthouse.
“He was very good at studies. He was only in the fifth standard when he had learnt the Ramayana, Mahabharata and all the 18 Puranas by heart,” says Mayank Tewari, his elder brother.
“He was always surrounded by books. He loved reading Osho and Swami Vivekananda,” says an IAS batch-mate.
Anurag, youngest of three engineer brothers and son of a physics professor, graduated from Madan Mohan Malviya University of Technology, Gorakhpur, joined the National Thermal Power Corporation and later quit to prepare for the civil services. He ranked 24th in the IAS exam of 2007, Mayank said.
Anurag was last posted as food & supplies commissioner in Karnataka. Mayank spoke of his brother’s earlier work as deputy commissioner of Bidar, saying he helped revive lakes, encouraged organic farming and helped salvage a “Mughal-era structure found nearly 100 ft below the ground”.
“He made a lot of enemies but wasn’t deterred. He would have done more in Bidar but was transferred,” Mayank says.
Anurag married in 2009 but it didn’t last. “He married after some pressure from the family, but as he was often busy and didn’t like interference in his work, the relationship didn’t work out. They separated after two months,” says Mayank.
“Throughout his career of 10 years, he hardly ever took leave. We would meet just once every two years,” Mayank says. “But whenever he came, he was always jolly. We must fight for him, and I know I am not going to stop until he gets justice.”
Anurag’s first appointment as an IAS officer was as assistant commissioner for Madhugiri subdivision in Tumkur district, where he served from August 2009 to 2011. He was later Tumkur City Corporation commissioner, then deputy secretary to the state government in Bangalore, and went back to Tumkur as DC and district magistrate during the 2013 assembly elections. His next posting was as Madikeri DC followed by the posting in Bidar until December 2016. He joined his last posting in January.
C Manoj, an assistant professor in Tumkur, says he saw Anurag at work. “I had gone to the Tumkur City Corporation on work. I saw him reprimanding officials for delaying people’s work,” Manoj says.
Tumkur’s current deputy commissioner, K P Mohanraj, comes from the same batch as Anurag. “He was good-natured officer, and a family friend. The staff held a condolence meeting for him,” Mohanraj says.
Harsha Gupta, principal secretary for food and civil supplies and Anurag’s senior, says he was affable and respectful. “I was Bidar DC before him, so he called me for suggestions about work in the district,” he recalls.
C H Naweed Ahmed, deputy director for food and civil supplies in Bengaluru Urban district, says this was his second stint under Anurag. “Tewari sir was my DC in Madikeri when I was deputy director there too. He was a simple officer.”