Karnataka IAS officer DK Ravi's family suspects foul play

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Bengaluru, March 18: The family of deceased IAS officer D.K. Ravi on Wednesday refuted the statement made by Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah that the bureaucrat committed suicide due to personal reasons, and demanded a CBI probe saying they suspect foul play in his death.

"I cannot believe my son (Ravi) could commit suicide as he was a brave officer and had no marital discord. We suspect he was killed. The state government should order a CBI probe to know the truth," a wailing Gowramma, Ravi's mother, told reporters here.

DK Ravi

The 36-year-old additional commissioner in the state commercial tax department was found dead on March 16 in his official apartment. His body was found by his wife Kusuma when she entered the flat with a duplicate key after he did not respond to her calls.

Though police maintain that prima facie Ravi's death was a case of suicide and the state government has ordered a probe by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Ravi's father-in-law Hanumantharayappa said his son-in-law was not the kind of person who would commit suicide.

"He (Ravi) was like a friend to me. He was very strong and not a man to commit suicide. We suspect foul play. If he committed suicide, there must be a strong reason for it.

"Even when he spoke to me recently, he told me that there was no place for people who worked honestly. The reason for his death, even if it is suicide, has to be probed, which is possible only through a CBI inquiry," Hanumantharayappa said.

Refuting the statements made by Siddaramaiah and Home Minister K.J. George that Ravi had committed suicide "for personal reasons", the IAS officer's mother wondered how they could say so and on what basis without facts.

"Who told them that my son committed suicide for personal reasons? And what are those reasons? We did not speak to anyone so far, not even police officials, as we have been mourning Ravi's loss and busy with his last rites," Gowramma said.

Rejecting the charges against the state government by Ravi's family, opposition parties BJP and Janata Dal-Secular and sections of the public, Siddarmaiah said as the CID was competent to investigate the case, there was no need for a CBI inquiry.

"CID is capable of handling the investigation. No need for a CBI inquiry," he told lawmakers in the assembly.

Recalling that her son had studied hard to become an IAS officer and worked for people's welfare wherever he was posted, Gowramma said Ravi had promised her he would return to his home district Tumakuru, about 70 km from Bengaluru, as deputy commissioner and would solve the drinking water problem in the district.

"Ravi was keen to return to Tumakuru as deputy commissioner, as it was his native place, and tackle basic problems like drinking water, housing and civic amenities," she said.

In a related development, the deadlock over Ravi's death continued in the assembly as well as the legislative council, as BJP and JD-S members reiterated their demand for a CBI probe into the incident which had outraged his supporters in Kolar district, where Ravi was posted as deputy commissioner in 2013-14.

Heated exchanges took place in the assembly over the incident as the ruling Congress and the opposition refused to budge from their respective stands.

"The state government is trying to tarnish the image of an upright officer by saying that he committed suicide due to family discord and for personal reasons. It is a cover-up by the government as Ravi had exposed the sand and land mafias in Kolar," said BJP lawmaker and former deputy chief minister R. Ashok.

JD-S floor leader H.D. Kumaraswamy urged the government to hand over the case to the CBI bowing to public opinion.

The speaker adjourned the house as the opposition members did not allow him to conduct debates on other issues, including the state budget presented on March 13.

IANS

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