Days after properties belonging to Congress leader and former Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara were searched by the Income Tax Department, the Congress leader’s personal assistant Ramesh was found dead on Saturday morning. Ramesh was found hanging from a tree on the Sai Grounds at the Jnana Bharathi University campus in Bengaluru.
A suicide note has been found in a car that was parked nearby. However, the police are waiting for a forensic team to reach the spot before they access the note. Bengaluru police told TNM that Ramesh’s family has filed a complaint with them and based on the complaint, a case will be filed.
The police are yet to confirm whether Ramesh was also searched by the Income Tax Department during the searches held on October 9, but said that he may have been called by officials for questioning. Sources from I-T department told TNM that Ramesh was not among those searched and his statement has not been recorded yet. However, sources from Parameshwara's camp told TNM that Ramesh was embarrassed that his name had come in the media that he was questioned over the searches.
Former Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka has expressed sorrow at Ramesh’s death.
“He was with me during the raids. I had told him not to worry, nothing will happen. I don’t know why he has committed suicide. It's unfortunate that this happened. He was a soft-spoken man,” G Parameshwara told the media on Saturday.
Ramesh had been working with the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee before he began to work as Parameshwara’s assistant. He hailed from Mandya in Karnataka.
Meanwhile, Karnataka Congress has lashed out at the BJP over the I-T searches.
IT dept claims second victim in State after Siddharth— Karnataka Congress (@INCKarnataka) October 12, 2019
Harassment from @BJP4India controlled IT dept has claimed life of Ramesh
In its rush to pester opposition, they have surpassed all levels of Humanity & has repeatedly exceeded its mandate
This is condemnable & unheard of pic.twitter.com/QFt1nidP0y
On October 9, G Parameshwara’s properties in Bengaluru and Tumakuru were searched by the Income Tax Department. I-T sleuths had also raided the premises of the degree, engineering and medical colleges belonging to Siddhartha Group of Institutions. An official release by the Income Tax Department stated, “Incriminating evidence has been found in the search, substantiating conversion of seats, commission payments to brokers and sale of seats in exchange for receipt of cash.”
“A total of Rs 4.22 crore of unaccounted cash has so far been found including Rs 89 lakh in the house of the main trustee,” added the release.
Search and seizure operations were also conducted at the medical college in Nelamangala belonging to veteran Congress leader RL Jalappa. The officials also searched the residences of Jalappa's son Rajendra and his nephew GH Nagaraj in Karnataka's Chikkaballapura.
Sources say the I-T sleuths had received a tip-off regarding alleged discrepancies in the income shown in the books of RL Jalappa Hospital, where Nagaraj is the director.