Karnataka Congress demands probe into retired professor’s suicide

KPCC chief D.K. Shivakumar alleged corruption in the appointment of VCs in the state

hanging-noose-suicide-rep Representational Image | Shutterstock

KPCC chief D.K. Shivakumar on Monday alleged corruption in the appointment of vice-chancellors in the state and demanded a judicial inquiry into the suicide of N.S. Ashok Kumar, a retired professor at the Bangalore University who was one of the contenders for the post.

Ashok Kumar, 64, was a former head of department of mass communication and journalism at the Bangalore University and the former registrar (evaluation) of the Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences. He was allegedly found hanging at his residence in BTM Layout by his wife on Sunday morning.

“I am shocked like everyone else to hear about this mysterious suicide. I have learned that huge money has changed hands in the appointment of the four vice-chancellors. The poor professor (Ashok Kumar) availed a loan to pay for his appointment. Ashok Kumar’s friends have claimed that he had paid Rs 2.5 crore for the post. He gave the payment some five months back but was shocked to find his name missing in the final list of appointees. He neither got the post nor his money, and he ended his life.

Shivakumar stated that the death was a “painful” incident and demanded a thorough probe into the bribery case.

“We suspect big names are involved in this scam. Let the probe reveal if any officer, minister or middleman has taken the bribe. We have heard that the government is party to this scam. He was told that there was an issue with his file and his money would be returned in some time. Though his death note allegedly says only he is responsible for the suicide, the Congress party suspects there has been huge corruption and powerful people are behind this. So, we demand the government to form a Special Investigation Team to probe into the alleged corruption and the suicide,” said Shivakumar.

The Karnataka government on Saturday had issued orders appointing the four vice-chancellors―Dr L. Gomathi Devi (Maharani Cluster University), Dr Harish Ramaswamy (Raichur University), Professor Puttaraju (Mandya University) and Professor Srinivas Balli (Nrupathunga University, Bengaluru).

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