Demands for a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the death of DK Ravi grew louder on Wednesday, a day after a social activist alleged the IAS officer was planning big raids to crack down on large-scale commercial tax evasion.
BJP legislators staged a night-long protest in the state assembly over the demand, amid an outpouring of grief and fiery protests, even after the Congress-led Karnataka government ordered a CID inquiry into the incident that has evoked statewide outrage and protests.
Ravi, a 35-year-old joint commissioner of vigilance with the commercial taxes department, was found hanging from the ceiling of his flat in Bengaluru on Monday.
An anti-government sentiment was triggered in the state after it was revealed that Ravi had conducted raids on many politically connected builders in the city of Bengaluru.
BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa said, "DK Ravi was an honest officer… If Karnataka CM really is honest, he should refer this matter to CBI."
Putting the ball in the state's court, Union minister Sadananda Gowda said, "State government must refer the matter to the CBI… We will apprise Union home minister Rajnathji of the matter."
Janata Dal (Secular) leader HD Kumaraswamy said, "We will continue our protest until the government orders a CBI inquiry into… (the) death."
Bengaluru Police commissioner MN Reddi said that forensically, medically and examination of the situation all point to "prima facie understanding of a suicide."
Ravi, a 2009 batch officer, who had earned a reputation for being upright, had recently taken over as joint commissioner of Commercial Taxes.
He 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.
He had also taken on the sand mafia as deputy commissioner of Kolar district.
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.
Devastated by the death, a 40-year-old man committed suicide in Kolar district where Ravi was known as 'demolition man' for his action against encroachments, while protesters stoned buildings of Congress legislator SN Narayanaswamy, who allegedly pressurised the government to transfer Ravi to Bengaluru for targeting his properties.
'Ravi was planning big raids'
Social activist and whistleblower Ganesh S Koundiny claimed on Tuesday that Ravi, who died in mysterious circumstances, was planning raids on some big developers to unearth commercial tax evasion.
"I had a conversation with Ravi on (last) Thursday and Friday, if I remember. He told me that he had conducted raids on some developers and housing societies and recovered Rs. 400 crore as income tax... Ravi was looking at raiding some big developers in Bangalore and he wanted to recover the evasion of taxes," Koudinhy told reporters in the state capital.
The activist said that the deceased officer was eager to meet him to get some documentary evidence in his possession so they both could work together to bring forth commercial tax violations.
"Since Ravi wanted some documents from me, he got in touch with me so that we both could work together to see that commercial tax violation could be unearthed," he added.
Meanwhile, BJP legislator and former minister CT Ravi alleged police did not carry out the spot inquiry properly. “God alone knows what the police did after they found the body. There was no independent witness. Police say they found no suicide note…how can we believe this when the most basic procedure was not followed? Minutes after visiting the spot police commissioner MN Reddi claimed it was a suicide. What was his hurry to make the statement when the body hadn’t been sent for post mortem?”
Video:Activist says IAS officer DK Ravi was planning raids on big developers