HW English

V.G. Siddhartha’s body found 500 meters from shore

The body of Cafe Coffee Day founder VG Siddhartha, who had gone missing from a river bridge near Mangaluru on Monday night has been found by local fishermen in the Nethravathi River. A massive manhunt was conducted over two days to find the missing entrepreneur, who had written a letter detailing the reasons for the tragic decision to end his life. While he was declared missing, the entire nation expressed its sorrow for the situation, and was praying for his safe return, however, it was not to be. The body was found floating in the waters 500 meters from shore at around 6 a.m. on Wednesday morning and was immediately brought to land.

Mr. Siddhartha, in his letter, detailed that a private equity investor was pressurising him to buy back shares for which he borrowed money from a friend, following which a liquidity crunch put him in a precarious financial position. However, the primary reason he alleged was harassment at the hands of an Income Tax Official.

The IT Department, in its response, expressed shock and raised questions over the authenticity of the letter, stating that signatures on that letter, purported to have been signed by Mr. Siddhartha, differ from those on company annual reports.

The concerned official, B.R. Balakrishnan, Chief Commissioner of Income Tax, and a 1983 batch IRS Officer, was set to retire today. He refused to react to criticism surrounding the incident and stated that he was only doing his job. A probe into the matter has been demanded from all quarters of the country and the pressure is on the government to hold those responsible, if there is any wrongdoing from their side.

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