Bengaluru: The Freedom Park is on fire again. Thousands of men and women are united in grief with DK Ravi's family as they sit on a hunger strike demanding a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) investigation into his sudden death.
The 35-year-old IAS officer’s death – police suspect it to be a case of suicide – has grown into a highly emotive issue in Karnataka, seriously undermining the anti-corruption crusader image of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.
As theories fly thick and fast, the Congress government is finding itself increasingly isolated. The voices are asking in union: “If there is nothing to hide, why is the government shying away from a CBI probe?”
His mother said, “My son is a hero, he could not have committed suicide.” It's a sentiment that is shared by the people of the state and elsewhere as they try to come to terms with the loss of a brave and upright civil servant.
Reports suggested today that the government was left with no other option than to order a CBI probe into Ravi’s death. A news channel claimed that the Chief Minister will announce it in the Assembly early next week.
Hailing from the peasant class, DK Ravi had risen to be an IAS officer. Understandably, his family is devastated. While his mother and wife remain inconsolable, one of Ravi’s aunt died of a heart attack today.
People at Ravi’s last rites, which took place in his native village on Wednesday, witnessed a poignant moment when the IAS officer's pet dog let out a wail on seeing his master lying still in the coffin. The canine has since gone silent and has not touched food since then.
Ravi was known for his righteousness and courage – he was known as someone who never shied away from taking on the high and mighty. A 2009 batch officer, he first came to the limelight as Deputy Commissioner of Kolar when he cracked down on illegal sand mafia.
Later as Additional Commissioner of Commercial Taxes (Enforcement) in Bengaluru – the post he held till death - Ravi had ordered raids on big real estate companies for tax evasion.
While the police have prima facie found evidence of him having committed suicide, his family is clear in their belief that Ravi had no reason to commit suicide.
What has added to the fears of a foul play are the ‘leaks’ suggesting that Ravi committed suicide owing to a personal problem. Adding to the rumour mill are reports that claimed that Ravi had called up a lady colleague 44 times just before his death.
However, the Opposition has termed the ‘leaks’ as an attempt by the government to defame Ravi.
Earlier in the day, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who is under sharp criticism from various quarters for not handing over the death case of IAS officer DK Ravi to the CBI, met Governor Vajubhai Rudabhai Vala and briefed him about the latest developments.
The matter of Ravi's death and demands for a fair probe were discussed in Parliament also. Home Minister Rajnath Singh has also offered CBI enquiry to look into the IAS officer's death.
If the state government recommends a CBI probe, the Centre will immediately order an enquiry by the central investigating agency, Singh had said in Lok Sabha yesterday.