January 11, 2008 12:00:19 am
Within five hours of being involved in a minor accident with a car carrying former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda on Wednesday, a 22-year-old youth, living in the same neighbourhood as the former PM, committed suicide. The youth, N Ramesh, who lived two blocks away from Gowda’s daughter’s house, and less than a kilometre away from the former Prime Minister’s own house in south Bangalore, is said to have committed suicide fearing retribution from Gowda supporters.
However, his family said that Ramesh, extremely sensitive by nature, was upset after being severely reprimanded by his elder brother and family members over the collision with Deve Gowda’s car. They have chosen not to file any police complaint in the case. Friends and neighbours of Ramesh agreed he was sensitive by nature, but added that some supporters of Gowda had visited Ramesh’s home after the accident demanding Rs 20,000 for repairs to Gowda’s car. They were paid Rs 10,000 by the family, who said they never expected him to take his life over a minor accident.
However, Deve Gowda’s family has denied any role in the youth’s suicide or any knowledge of any supporters visiting the home of the youth following the accident. The accident occurred around 10:30 am on Wednesday when Gowda was being driven in his SUV across the barely one kilometre stretch from his own house to his daughter’s house, where he normally spends a great deal of his time. Ramesh, who was driving a small car belonging to a friend is reported to have collided head on with the former Prime Minister’s car while negotiating a turn.
Following the accident, Gowda’s bodyguard and driver were said to have verbally abused Ramesh for his driving while Gowda himself remained seated in the car. Advocate A P Ranganath who is close to the former Prime Minister’s family said Gowda asked his men to ignore the accident, return to the car and continue with the trip.
Ramesh too, returned home after the accident and was scolded by friends and family for being involved in the accident.
Around noon, some people claiming to be supporters of Gowda are said to have visited his home demanding payment for repairs to the car. “We don’t know who visited the family. But someone definitely was paid Rs 10,000 by Ramesh’s brother for repairs,” Manjesh, a shop owner and neighbour of the youth’s family said. Around 3:30 pm, after he had told his sister-in-law that he was going to sleep, Ramesh was found hanging from the ceiling fan.
“We don’t have anything to say. He is gone,” his mother said.
“There is no complaint registered by the family against anyone for abetment of suicide. They have said he was upset after being scolded by his family,” said the Deputy Commissioner of Police.
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