IAS officer DK Ravi’s death triggers uproar in Karnataka assembly, family wants CBI inquiry
The family of IAS officer DK Ravi, who was found hanging from a ceiling fan in his house by his wife on Monday, on Wednesday supported the Karnataka opposition’s demands for a CBI probe into his mysterious death.
Opposition parties disrupted proceedings in the state assembly and continued to press for a CBI inquiry into the death of Ravi’s death despite a call for a CID probe by the Congress-led government.
Speaking on behalf of the family, Ravi’s father-in-law Hanumantharayappa asked the media to amplify their demand for a CBI probe.
Rejecting the state government’s claim that Ravi committed suicide because of a family dispute, Hanumantharayappa said, “He was not the kind of person who would commit suicide. And if he did indeed kill himself, there must be a very strong reason. Only a thorough investigation can reveal what pushed him to take the extreme step.”
Ravi, a 2009 batch officer, who had earned a reputation for being upright, had recently taken over as joint commissioner of commercial taxes. He had also taken on the sand mafia as deputy commissioner of Kolar district.
He also clarified that he had requested chief minister Siddaramaiah to transfer Ravi from his previous post as the deputy commissioner of Kolar district.
Hanumantharayappa also alleged that he had requested the CM to transfer his son-in-law after Congress legislator SN Narayanawamy started “putting pressure” on Ravi to ignore illegal steps taken by his real estate company Confident Group.
Requesting the media to desist from spreading rumours and tarnishing Ravi’s character, he said that the family was willing to fully cooperate with the investigation.
Ravi was chasing builders in the city who had been evading taxes for years, one of his colleagues told HT on the condition of anonymity. The same source also said that Ravi had collected more than Rs 100 crore in outstanding tax dues from the builders.
Among the real estate companies he pursued were the Embassy Group, partly owned by state home minister KJ George, and Sobha Developers, which has close links with former minister DK Shivakumar, Ravi’s colleagues told HT.
Bharatiya Janata Party MLAs had held a night long protest inside the Karnataka assembly on Tuesday, demanding a CBI inquiry into Ravi’s death.
Union law and justice minister DV Sadananda Gowda on Wednesday said the Karnataka government must refer the officer’s death to the CBI for further investigation.
“People of Karnataka feel that neither the chief minister or the home minister nor the officers can have a free and fair investigation in
the matter. I think he being an IAS officer, it is fair on the part of government to refer the matter to CBI for further investigation,,” Gowda told ANI in New Delhi.
Gowda had on Tuesday said that there is a suspicion among people that Ravi’s death was a cold blooded murder and urged the state government to look into the matter.
Earlier in the day, Janata Dal (Secular) leader HD Kumaraswamy accused Karnataka chief minister Siddaramiah of trying to influence the autopsy report of the 35-year-old IAS officer.
“The way in which our chief minister visited the place where post mortem was conducted, people are feeling that he went there to
influence post-mortem officers. We will continue our protest until the government orders a CBI inquiry into IAS officer DK Ravi’s death case,” Kumaraswamy told ANI.
Congress leader PC Chacko, however, deflected demands for a CBI probe saying the state CID must be allowed to investigate the case before a request for the central agency’s intervention is made.
“The incident needs to be investigated thoroughly, no doubt about that. But the state CID is conducting the investigation and preliminary reports are yet to come. The CID has to complete its investigation and if that investigation is not satisfactory, then naturally a CBI investigation can be requested,” Chacko told ANI.
“Let the CID finish its work. At this stage, a CBI investigation is not justified,” he added.
On Tuesday, Siddaramiah had said that Bengaluru Police is capable of investigating the mysterious death of Ravi and added that it remained to be seen if the case will be referred to investigating agencies.
Bengaluru Police commissioner MN Reddi had pointed out that forensic and medical evidence hinted that Ravi’s death was prima facie a case of suicide. He added that a thorough investigation was on and warned against jumping to any conclusion.