An Honest Officer Dies "Unnaturally"The death of D K Ravi, a 2009 batch IAS officer from Karnataka, has once again exposed the lengths to which the sand mafia and other unscrupulous organized crime mafiaÃ¢â¬â¢s masquerading as businessmen in Karnataka, as elsewhere in the country, can go to silence officers who go after it. Ravi was found hanging in his official flat in Bangalore. No suicide note was found.
By Sunil Garodia
Although Ravi had been transferred to Bangalore from Kolar where he had gone after the sand mafia, it is clear that his death has come under what is euphemistically called Ã¢â¬Åunder unnatural circumstancesÃ¢â¬Â in police parlance. His family has accused Congress MLA SN Narayanswamy of putting pressure on him to ignore illegal acts committed by realty firm Confident Group. They also alleged foul play in his death, though a preliminary autopsy has not revealed much to support this. The family has outrightly rejected the Karnataka government claim that Ravi committed suicide due to family problems.
It is rumoured that Ravi was going after builders in Bangalore who are notorious for evading taxes. Sources have also said that he was on the verge of making a damning disclosure that would have netted a big fish. But these are all speculations. What has happened is that the country has lost a young, honest and upright officer who always stood his ground against threats and political pressure.
The people in Karnataka are angry and have come out on the streets to protest. But the government is not moved. It is still treating the death as a simple case of suicide, refusing to allow the CBI to enquire into the circumstances leading to the death.
Time and again, the country has witnessed the nexus between the politico-business and hooligan class putting pressure on officers to bend. Those who bend are made to crawl next. They line up their pockets and those of their political masters, allowing the business and hooligan class to trample the rights of the citizens and cause immense loss to the exchequer. Those who refuse to bend are transferred in few months, like Ashok Khemka in Haryana. In the extreme cases, the lives of people like DK Ravi are snuffed out.
But enough is enough. There should always be an assumption of foul play in the Ã¢â¬ÅunnaturalÃ¢â¬Â death of any honest officer who has had a showdown with unscrupulous cartels in his duty period previously. The country cannot afford to lose young, upright officers who are its best bet for taking it forward. The worst part is that deaths such as that of Ravi are meant to scare off other honest officers. Do we want to become a country where honesty is grounded to dust by the unholy trinity of politicians, businessmen and hoodlums?
There should be an immediate CBI enquiry into RaviÃ¢â¬â¢s death. All realtors in Bangalore should be deeply probed, with their accounts put under the scanner to see if Ravi was close to unearthing a huge tax evasion racket. The money chain should be tracked to expose political involvement. Congress MLA Narayanswany must be hauled over the coals to see if he was involved. The Karnataka government should not be allowed to brush the matter under the carpet.