The death of a young, upright IAS officer under mysterious circumstances in Bangalore on Monday evening rocked the Karnataka legislative assembly. On Tuesday morning, the opposition BJP demanded a CBI probe into the death and questioned the Congress government’s commitment to protecting honest officials in the state.
The 2009 batch IAS officer D K Ravi, 36, who was working as an additional commissioner for enforcement in the Commercial taxes department of the government was found dead at his ninth floor apartment in south Bangalore on Monday evening by his wife and father-in-law. The Bangalore police have on the basis of a prima facie investigations called it a case of suspected suicide.
“It is a case of murder not suicide. The government must find out who murdered an honest and upright officer like Ravi. How can a man with the resolve and dedication of Ravi commit suicide. We cannot believe it. The people cannot believe it,” said the leader of the opposition BJP in the legislative assembly, Jagadish Shettar, when he was allowed to speak on the issue on Tuesday morning.
“The death of the young IAS officer is an administrative crime. We need a free and fair probe to find out who or what lobby is responsible,” Shettar said while pointing out that the IAS officer had earned many enemies in the real estate and other lobbies with his drive to bring tax defaulters to book.
The BJP leader accused the Siddaramaiah lead Congress government in Karnataka of systematically letting down honest officers in the state. He cited the example of the transfer of D K Ravi from Kolar last year after he confronted the sand mafia in the region, the transfer of police officer B A Mahesh after he was instrumental in exposing a scam in the Bangalore corporation and the transfer of IAS officer and former director of the Administrative Training Institute in Mysore, Rashmi Mahesh, for questioning irregularities at the institute.
“The situation is worsening by the day in the state. At this rate the entire administration will collapse. Don’t you want honest officers in the government? The government must protect honest officers and the best way to send a message that the government is behind upright officers is to order a CBI probe in the death of the IAS officer,” Shettar said.
The opposition leader also questioned Bangalore police commissioner M N Reddi for ruling that the death was prima facie suicide even before the post mortem in the case was conducted. “How can the police commissioner rule it is suicide so early in the investigation. It is a highly irresponsible comment,” Shettar said.
Senior BJP leader S Suresh Kumar while speaking on the issue said that there were conflicts of interest in the state government where powerful persons in the government also had business interests.
The death of IAS officer Ravi has resulted in a day long bandh being observed in the Kolar district where he served earlier as the deputy commissioner and earned the adoration of the local population.