A day after IAS officer DK Ravi was found dead at his official residence in Bengaluru, protests erupted in the IT hub and Kolar as demands for a probe into his death poured in from all quarters on Tuesday.
People called for a shutdown in Kolar district of Karnataka, following the young officer's death. Kolar Police have deployed additional personnel to prevent the lockdown called by some organisations as a mark of respect for Ravi.
The protesters -- mostly volunteers of the Aam Aadmi Party and members of pro-Kannada group Jai Karnataka -- demanded an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation, reports said.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) condemned Ravi's death and urged the Karnataka government to come out with the facts that led to his 'shocking' demise.
"The incident of a young IAS officer, who has been found dead in his apartment, is extremely shocking and intriguing. The fact that he was involved in some kind of a drive against builder mafia certainly raises many questions and suspicions. So far the information available does not give out any details about factors leading to his death," BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao told ANI.
"We certainly expect the state government and the state police to come out with case facts related to the death of the young officer. There have been several attempts of honest officers having been killed in the past, we hope the state government takes appropriate notice and immediately acts against the culprits, if any are involved," he said.
Ravi, a 2009 batch IAS 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.
The 35-year-old had taken on the sand mafia as deputy commissioner of Kolar district.
In Lucknow, social activist Nutan Thakur also appealed for a thorough investigation into his death terming his death as "suspicious".
"The way Ravi ji's body has been found, the whole matter is obviously suspicious. The entire case should be thoroughly investigated. He took on the sand mafia and certain land mafias," said Thakur.
"I can very well understand how such an officer, who fights against corruption, is made to face many hurdles. They are threatened and all kinds of efforts are made to stop them. The unauthorised work involve huge amount of money. That's why the culprits make all kinds of efforts to stop them," she said.
IPS officer Amitabh Thakur asked Bengaluru Police to look into the case with "utmost seriousness".
"Now that such a large number of officers are losing the confidence of the people, the mysterious death of Ravi is a very sad and grave incident and it needs to be looked into very properly and in complete depth. I request the Bengaluru Police to take up the matter very seriously and to unearth all the facts behind the death," Thakur told ANI.
"It is a reality today that after the political mafia nexus, the officers many a times are under intense pressure and this leads to many kinds of situations, where officers are murdered in the way of their duty. Hence Ravi's death needs to be taken with utmost seriousness," he added.
According to police, preliminary investigations suggest that Ravi allegedly committed suicide.
"Prima facie it appears to be a case of suicide. His body was found hanging from a ceiling fan," police commissioner MN Reddi told reporters.
He added that it was Ravi's wife who found his body found hanging from the ceiling. A special team has been formed to probe the case, he said.
To a query, Reddi said, "Prima facie, we do not see any room for foulplay."
Police said they are likely to analyse Ravi's mobile records, entry records of his apartment's reception, and CCTV cameras in the vicinity.
State home minister KJ George, energy minister DK Shiv Kumar, Congress lawmaker from Kolar district KR Ramesh Kumar and a dozen senior tax officials paid a visit to Ravi's family.
"I have spoken to (police) commissioner and have asked him to investigate the matter completely," George told reporters.
George said that all angles will be looked into to determine what caused Ravi's death. He also described the death as a great loss to the state of Karnataka.
(With ANI inputs)