DK Ravi, a 2009 batch IAS officer, who had earned a reputation for being upright, was found dead on Monday at his residence at Madiwala in Bengaluru.
His body was found hanging from the ceiling.
Ravi, who had recently taken over as joint commissioner of Commercial Taxes, had been 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.
Kolar police have deployed additional personnel to prevent the lockdown called by some organisations as a mark of respect for Ravi.
Although the police are yet to ascertain the cause of death, speculation is rife that he was under pressure as a result of the risk he was taking at work.
"Prima facie, it appears to be a case of suicide," Bengaluru police commissioner MN Reddi told reporters. He said no suicide note had been found presently adding the officer had returned home around 11:15am and the death must have occurred before evening.
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." "I have spoken to (Police) Commissioner and have asked him to investigate the matter completely," Karnataka home minister KJ George told reporters.
George who visited the spot, however, did not comment on the nature and possible reasons behind the death.
"It has to be investigated... all angles will be looked into," he said when asked about reports that the officer faced threats to his life.
"I have spoken about the incident to the Police Commissioner. He was an upright officer, he was a youth and doing a great work. His death is a great loss to the state," George said.
Ravi was also very popular with people and when he was transferred from his previous job as the deputy commissioner of Kolar district, many organisations staged protests demanding that he be retained in the district.
(With inputs from PTI)