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Ravi's harassed colleague had written to Andhra CM's close adviser

Bengaluru: The investigation into the suicide of IAS officer D.K. Ravi last Monday has taken a new turn with the name of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu's close adviser doing the rounds. The identity of the adviser has not been revealed so far.

The CID wing of the Karnataka Police, which may question the adviser in connection with the case, said Rohini Sindhuri, CEO, Mandya Zilla Panchayat, to whom Ravi allegedly made innumerable calls and sent messages had complained to a senior adviser of the Andhra CM more than two months ago.

Sindhuri is from Andhra Pradesh and she was Ravi's batchmate in the academy. The CID sleuths claimed she was troubled by Ravi's alleged behaviour and decided to seek help from someone she knew in her home state.

"She had discussed Ravi's behaviour with the Andhra CM's adviser. On the basis of his suggestion, she had written to Karnataka Chief Secretary Kaushik Mukherjee two months ago regarding his (Ravi's) alleged behaviour," said an officer, who is part of the investigating team.

Sindhuri claimed the woman IAS officer shared this information with the police as part of the statement she gave two days ago. However, the CID is yet to ascertain whether such a letter exists in the office of the state chief secretary.

This 'disclosure' has been lapped up by Opposition parties, which wants the state government to transfer the probe into Ravi's death to the Central Bureau of Investigation. According to the Opposition parties, this is a fit case for the CBI to investigate, as the Karnataka CID does not have the jurisdiction to record the statement of Naidu's adviser.

At the same time, the CID cannot record the statement of the state chief secretary. Only the CBI can ensure an impartial probe, the opposition parties contended.

Former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy on Saturday said, "How can the state CID conduct a fair probe when it has to question the state chief secretary? What is the guarantee that facts are not being twisted?"

"Kaushik Mukherjee is trying to seek rehabilitation after his retirement by pleasing the government in trying to corroborate their claim that personal reasons were responsible for Ravi's death. It is evident that he is compelling the lady (IAS officer) to record a statement under duress that can lend credence to the suicide theory," Kumaraswamy alleged.

But the chief secretary has neither responded to Kumaraswamy's allegations nor confirmed whether the woman IAS officer had written to him two months ago, complaining against Ravi.

Officials in the state secretariat said, "The chief secretary is not in a position to comment on such issues because investigation into the case has just begun. We want the probe to be completed." Meanwhile, the investigators have asked Sindhuri to submit her WhatsApp message history (with Ravi) to the police. The Mandya district police have also extended her security after she said she felt insecure with sensitive issues relating to the case being divulged in public.

Chief Minister S. Siddaramaiah hit back at his detractors, stating that he was not trying to protect anyone in the case. "I have never protected any wrong-doers in my career. Let the probe be complete and truth shall prevail," he said. Protests, meanwhile, continued in Kolar, Bengaluru, Mandya, Mysuru, and Tumakuru districts of the state seeking a CBI probe into Ravi's death despite Saturday being Ugadi, a big festival in Karnataka.

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