Karnataka saw violent protests on Thursday over the controversial death of an IAS officer while his colleagues launched an online petition to the Prime Minister in support of a CBI probe, a demand that was endorsed by the state human rights commission.
DK Ravi was found hanging from a ceiling fan at his Bengaluru apartment this week, sparking speculation he may have been murdered as the 35-year-old had stood up to Karnataka’s sand and real estate mafia. A post-mortem report ruled out foul play with police saying it seemed like a case of suicide, but over 1.3 million people signed the online plea launched by Ravi’s colleagues, asking Prime Minister Narendra Modi to order a central inquiry.
“I don’t understand why everybody is speculating over whether this was a suicide or murder. It’s immaterial,” said additional chief secretary Madan Gopal, who also signed the petition. “The government should stop holding on to its false prestige and hand over this case to the CBI to save its reputation.”
Karnataka remained on edge as police cracked down on protesters led by the BJP students’ wing in Bengaluru, while mob violence was also reported from Tumkur, the officer’s hometown.
After a BJP MP warned of the deteriorating law and order situation in the state, union home minister Rajnath Singh said the Centre was ready to order a CBI probe into the death and was only waiting for the state government’s nod.
“I have spoken to the Karnataka chief minister, who said he would send a detailed report to me within a couple of days,” Singh said. “If the state government wants (a CBI probe), then as soon as I get a representation from it, we will be ready for a CBI inquiry.”
In a letter to the state chief secretary and principal secretary (Home), the state human rights body noted that though there was no evidence to suggest the police were being partial in their investigation, “any reasonable person would think that the investigation and enquiry conducted by the CID would not be fair and the CID, police are likely to be influenced”.