IAS officer's death rocks Karnataka assembly

Bengaluru, March 17: The Karnataka assembly was on Tuesday adjourned twice after opposition parties sought a CBI probe into the mysterious death of young IAS officer D.K. Ravi which police say was a suicide.

Moving an adjournment motion for an immediate discussion over Ravi's death, BJP and JD-S members stalled the proceedings after the ruling Congress rejected their demand but agreed to a probe by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID). A police investigation is already on.


The body of Ravi, 36, was found hanging from a ceiling fan in his apartment in upscale Koramangala by his wife Kusuma on Monday evening when police forced opened the door.

When the Bharatiya Janata Party and Janata Dal-Secular members refused to budge and rushed to the well of the house, speaker Kagodu Thimappa adjourned the session before lunch and, later, for the day.

"We suspect foul play in Ravi's tragic death. It's hard to believe such an upright and bold officer committed suicide though he may have been under pressure after he took on the real estate mafia in the city for evading taxes," opposition leader Jagdish Shettar of the BJP thundered.

A 2009 batchmate, Ravi was additional commissioner in the commercial tax department since December 2014 after his sudden transfer in November 2014 as deputy commissioner of Kolar district, about 100 km from here where he exposed illegal deals in sand mining and state-owned land.

"The chief minister (Siddaramaiah) should transfer the case to the CBI as it appears to be a murder instead of suicide as claimed by police. Ravi recently got threatening calls from influential lobbies and powerful builders for raiding their premises and exposing their illegal land deals," Shettar asserted.

JD-S floor leader and former chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy said only a CBO probe would bring out the truth into Ravi's death, which police claimed was suicide even before its investigation was completed.

Suspending the question hour, zero hour and debate on the state's budget which the chief minister presented on March 13, the speaker allowed the agitated opposition members to share their concerns but adjourned the house after they did not relent.

"The government should collect call records from Ravi's mobiles as he was using more than one handset and analyse them to find out who was in touch with him," Kumaraswamy said.

Former minister Suresh Kumar of the BJP said people were suspecting that powerful politicians and builders were behind Ravi's death.

"Ravi's mysterious death has shocked the people across the state and triggered outrage in Kolar where he took on the sand and land mafia. Protests are on seeking justice for his family," Kumar said.

Home Minister K.J. George urged opposition members to wait for the autopsy and investigation reports, which could throw more light on the unfortunate incident.

"Circumstantial evidence in the apartment indicates that Ravi committed suicide for personal reasons. He was found hanging by his wife and father-in-law on Monday evening," George said before opposition members walked out in protest.


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