oppn parties An Honest Officer Dies "Unnaturally"

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  • Amit Shah says the government will identify and deport illegal immigrants from all parts of the country
  • Reports from Pakistan confirm that Hafiz Saeed has been arrested and sent to jail
  • After the SC order, Karnataka Speaker says he will go by the Constitution in deciding on the resignations of the 16 MLAs
  • Rebel MLAs say they will not attend the trust vote on Thursday
  • Supreme Court rules that rebel MLAs cannot be forced to attend the assembly and vote in the floor test
  • Both the Centre and the Assam government have sought re-verification of up to 20% of draft NRC data
  • Pakistan opens its airspace for Indian planes
  • Dilapidated building collapses in Mumbai, killing more than 10 people while many were still trapped
  • Kulbhushan Jadhav case verdict to be delivered today by the ICJ
  • A Vistara flight landed in Lucknow with just 5 to 10 minutes of fuel left in the tank
  • Supreme Court to decide on Karnataka MLAs plea today
  • Karnataka alliance to face floor test on Thursday
  • China says that the next Dalai Lama will be appointed by it
  • Pakistan assures India that no anti-India activity would be allowed in the Kartarpur corridor
  • Pakistan to allow visa-free access to 5000 pilgrims every day to undertake pilgrimage using the Kartarpur corridor
ISRO calls-off Chandrayaan-2 mission launch at last moment due to technical snags. revised date will be announced later
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An Honest Officer Dies "Unnaturally"

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
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 mafia’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.

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 “under unnatural circumstances” 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 “unnatural” 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 Ravi’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.