Assaulted for exposing graft, whistleblower dies
A Karnataka Administrative Service officer, SP Mahantesh, who was attacked with swords and rods five days ago for reportedly exposing scams in cooperative housing societies in and around Bangalore died at a private hospital here on Sunday.delhi Updated: May 21, 2012 00:47 IST
A Karnataka Administrative Service officer, SP Mahantesh, who was attacked with swords and rods five days ago for reportedly exposing scams in cooperative housing societies in and around Bangalore died at a private hospital here on Sunday.
Mahantesh, 48, deputy director of the audit wing of the state’s cooperatives department, died following a cardiac arrest, said a hospital doctor who did not want to be named. “His heart stopped at 5.30am. We tried our best to revive him, but failed.”
His death — the second of a state government official after an assault this month — triggered a backlash against the BJP government. Chief minister DV Sadananda Gowda encountered sloganeering members of the public when he visited Mahantesh’s house to pay his condolences.
“Mahantesh was an upright officer and his death is a loss to the government. Such incidents shall not happen again,” the CM said. Infosys founder NR Narayana Murthy said, “I’m really shocked because the first priority of the government must be to protect honest officers.”
Mahantesh, who had head injuries, was on life support for the past two days. He was waylaid by five men on May 15 while returning from the Sahakara Nagar Cooperative Society in his car after an audit exercise.
He was found unconscious and shifted to the hospital after passersby informed his family.
Mahantesh’s family alleged he was attacked because he had exposed large-scale irregularities in allotment of plots to government officials and politicians.
Around 80 cooperative housing societies are now under the government scanner for irregularities.
The police have formed four teams to identify the accused.
On May 6, assistant conservator of forests Madan Naik died after he was allegedly assaulted by a group of tourists at Dandeli in Uttara Kannada district. Naik was attacked after he objected to the tourists feeding crocodiles at a private resort.
With agency inputs