Wednesday, 18 March 2015 08:58

Death of DK Ravi : Suicide or Political Murder?

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The dream of completely Congress-mukt-Bharat­ is yet to come true,

which is evident from the incidents that keep almost regularly taking place in Congress-ruled states of the nation every few weeks. Latest incident to join this string is the mysterious death of an upright & honest IAS officer from Karnataka, named DK Ravi who earned a huge fame for himself by sending shivers down the spine of the powerful sand mafia in Kolar district of the state.
35 years old Ravi, a Karnataka cadre IAS officer of the year 2009 batch had been posted as the Deputy Commissioner of Kolar district in August 2013.

Soon after he took charge, Ravi was appalled to see the large scale corruption & unchecked loot of the national resources being unabashedly carried out by the heavyweight and politically well-connected sand mafia giants prevailing in the region. It didn’t take him long to formulate a sound strategy and hit the syndicate hard by launching an official crackdown against the encroachment of government lands and rampant illegal sand mining in the region, something that turned him a hero in the eyes of the local residents and a sharp-edged stumbling block spoiling the day for the mining gangs - both at the same time. His relentless energy, deep commitment to the people’s cause, easy accessibility to the masses and untainted honesty soon began giving a sore eye to the sand mafia, which finally culminated in him being posted to Bengaluru as the Joint Commissioner, Commercial Taxes (Enforcement) in October 2014, presumably under the pressure being mounted by the elements involved in land grabbing and illegal sand mining. The extent of his popularity among the masses of Kolar can be gauged by the fact that huge protests had been staged by them against his transfer orders.

But the change in his location couldn’t stop Ravi from doing what he loved the most – cleaning the system while taking the bigwigs involved fearlessly hands on. In a matter of months after his posting in Bengaluru, he enlisted the top 50 tax evading defaulters, and set a target of Rs. 1000 Crore to be collected by them. He launched a slew of raids in Bangalore initially, which further extended to places across the entire state of Karnataka, bringing a number of well known business groups such as Embassy, Rajesh Exports, Shubh Jewellers, RMZ Institution, Prestige Group, Raheja Developers and Mantri Developers into books. It is said that Ravi was able to collect more than Rs. 138 Crore within the first few weeks of his drive itself. Not much later, he reportedly started receiving threat calls from the tax defaulters.

On 16 March 2015 (Monday) evening, Ravi’s dead body was found hanging off the ceiling fan at his Koramangala flat in Bangalore. While the Police Commissioner of Bengluru, M. N. Reddi stated that the death was prima facie a case of suicide, people and the civil society arrived at streets on March 17 in parts of Karnataka, including Kolar and Gulbarga. Towns in Kolar district observed total bandh with shops, commercial establishments, schools and colleges stayed closed on the day, with state-run and private buses, auto rickshaws and other vehicles not operating.

Here is another shocking part- as the news of his death spread, within 45 mins, while the security personnel stopped media persons, they failed to restrict the ministers, their aides, senior bureaucrats and government officials from making their way into the building.
With hundreds of fingerprints, footprints, strands of hair from the unwanted visitors, the investigation may have been compromised. Sources also said the police could not begin investigation immediately as they were busy providing security to the VVIP visitors. It was only after 9 pm that the investigators started going through the victim's cellphone, shifting the body to the mortuary and inspecting the apartment. (like that'd help now)

The officer, who was known for his clean image, was getting threat calls recently. He is also said to have raided the properties of Karnataka's Home Minister KJ George too in the past.
People suspect faul play by the state and have demanded an independent CBI probe. Even the state unit of BJP, which is in opposition, has been vocal in demanding an independent CBI enquiry in the case but the Congress govt. insists on state CID investigating it. And even for the CID, the officer investigating the case was transferred today.
This increases the suspicions of this being a political murder.

Whatever be the result of investigations, another anti corruption soldier has fallen, for reasons not public yet. A sad loss.


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