VG Siddhartha’s body found on river bank

The body of Cafe Coffee Day founder VG Siddhartha, who went missing two days ago, was found by local fishermen and patrolling policemen on the banks of the Nethravathi river near Mangaluru on Wednesday.

A cop said “everything” points to suicide but nothing can be ruled out until the investigation is over.

Siddhartha, whose chain of cafes helped make coffee a lifestyle beverage and brought in latte, cappuccino, Americano and espresso into the urban Indian lexicon, was 59. He is survived by his wife Malavika and two sons.

His body was identified by his friends, said Dakshina Kannada district deputy commissioner Sasikanth Senthil.

“We have found the body. They (Siddhartha’s family) are making arrangements for the funeral. I will also attend it. I have no words to comfort the family,” Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa said in Bengaluru.

Former Karnataka chief minister and senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah said Siddhartha’s death is both “disturbing and mysterious. The reasons and the invisible hands that ended his life in this tragic way should be unearthed through impartial and fair investigation”, Siddaramaiah said, referring to a letter purportedly written by Siddhartha, where he alleged harassment by the income tax department.

He said the letter supposed to have been written by Siddhartha discussed “tax terrorism”, which is the “ugly face of politically motivated institutions”.

The I-T department refuted the charges and said it had acted according to the provisions of the Income Tax Act.

The businessman left Bengaluru for Sakleshpur in Hassan district in a car on Monday afternoon. On the way, he asked his driver to go towards Mangaluru, police said. He got off the car and told his driver to wait for him at the end of the bridge, saying he was going for a walk. On Tuesday, a fisherman claimed he saw someone jumping off the bridge.

Coffee Day Enterprises on Wednesday named independent director SV Ranganath as the interim chairman of the company to replace its founder.

The company board, wherein Siddhartha’s wife Malavika Hegde is also a director, met on Wednesday.

“The board will, in due course, prepare a detailed charter of authorities vested in the executive committee and approve the same,” the filing said. The executive committee will explore opportunities to deleverage the Coffee Day Group, it said. 

No comments: