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DK Ravi’s death: Karnataka government in a spot as BJP seeks probe by CBI

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MUMBAI: The Karnataka Legislature has ground to a halt over the unnatural death of IAS officer DK Ravi, with the BJP refusing to allow legislative business until the gov ernment orders a CBI probe. This has caught the Siddaramaiah government in a piquant situation because it has to get important Taxation and Appropriation Bills passed by the Legislature.

Though the government announced a CID probe on Tuesday, the Opposition BJP and JD (S) were not willing to settle for anything less than a CBI probe. BJP’s own union minister of state for home affairs Kiren Rijiju, however, refused to be dragged into issue, saying it was a state subject.

Alleging that the gov ernment was hastily concluding that Ravi -an upright officer who had taken on pow erful lobbies -had committed suicide, the BJP also turned its ire on home minister KJ George, who told the Assembly that prelimi nary investigations in to the suicide pointed to “personal reasons” as the possible motive. In the Legislative Council, BJP leader KS Eshwarappa sought a CBI probe saying he suspected that the rul ing party was trying to protect one of its ministers who had pres sured Ravi to go easy against a real estate firm in which the min ister had an interest.

In the Assembly, Speaker Kagodu Thim mappa’s efforts to bring about a truce be tween the treasury and the Opposition mem bers proved futile, and the BJP members launched an overnight protest. “The conclu sion by the police that it was a case of suicide is wrong. The death has occurred under mysterious circum stances, and only a CBI probe can uncover the truth,” Opposition leader and former CM Jagadish Shettar told ET. The party, he said, would continue with its protest until the government ordered CBI probe.

Defending the BJP’s aggressive posture, party spokesperson S Suresh Kumar said, “Our actions in the Assembly are only reflective of the outrage we are witnessing over the death of the honest IAS officer.” The Aam Aadmi Party too joined issue. In a statement, the party said: “DK Ravi, an honest and upright IAS officer ….was recently transferred for his action and fight against sand and real estate mafia. The people of the state believe that his life has been snuffed out by the prevalent corrupt system, the high & mighty and the harassments he was subjected to by the government. It is no secret that such mafias have the blessings of the corrupt state government.”

Meanwhile, doctors at the government Victoria Hospital conducted a postmortem on Tuesday. Refusing to indicate the cause of death, they said it would take two days to file the report. A team of doctors, led by Dr S Venkataraghavan and Dr Sumangala and Dr Pradeep in the presence of the tahsildar, conducted the postmortem and handed over the body to Ravi’s relatives. Speaking to the ET, Dr Venkataraghavan said the team had conducted a detailed postmortem.

The police announced a special investigation team headed by Deputy Commissioner of Police (South-East) Rohini Katoch to investigate the death.

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