Police have launched a massive search operation to trace the missing son-in-law of former Karnataka Chief Minister SM Krishna and the founder of popular chain Cafe Coffee Day, VG Siddhartha.
Reports of Siddhartha going missing from a bridge in Mangaluru, Karnataka has left the state’s political and business fraternity stunned. District Commissioner, Dakshin Kannada, Sasikanth Senthil was quoted by news agency ANI, “We are conducting search and rescue operation. Eight teams conducting search along with Coast Guard and NDRF. We have also asked for support from Navy, Karwar.”
According to several media reports quoting Siddhartha’s driver, he was last seen on a bridge over the Netravati river in Mangaluru. His driver Basavaraj Patil, who has been with Siddhartha for the last three years, said that they were travelling in their Toyota Innova towards Sakleshpur, when Siddhartha asked the driver to turn the car towards Mangaluru.
Siddhartha reportedly asked the driver to stop the car and wait for him at the other end since he wanted to take a walk. The driver called Siddhartha an hour later at around 8 pm, but his phone was switched off. According to police sources, Patil said in his statement that he later filed a police complaint.
Meanwhile, news agency ANI has tweeted a letter, which it claims was written by Siddhartha before he went missing. In the letter, Siddhartha accused the Income Tax authorities of harassing him. He wrote, “I have failed to create the right profitable business model despite my best efforts. I would like to say I gave it my all. I am very sorry to let down all the people that put their trust in me. I fought for a long time but today I gave up as I could not take any more pressure…”
He continued, “…I could not take any more pressure from one of the private equity partners forcing me to buy back shares, a transaction I had partially completed six months ago by borrowing a large sum of money from a friend. Tremendous pressure from other lenders lead to me succumbing to the situation. There was a lot of harassment from the previous DG income tax in the form of attaching our shares on two separate occasions to block our Mindtree deal and then taking position of our Coffee Day shares… This was very unfair and has led to a serious liquidity crunch.”
Founder & owner, Cafe Coffee Day (CCD), #VGSiddhartha‘s letter to employees and board of directors of CCD, states, “Every financial transaction is my responsibility…the law should hold me & only me accountable.”; He has gone missing from Mangaluru, search operation underway. pic.twitter.com/0GJc5vmvYt
— ANI (@ANI) July 30, 2019
Meanwhile, leaders cutting across their political divide have started visiting the residence of SM Krishna. They included Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa and Congress leader DK Shivakumar among others.