VG Siddhartha was the founder of Cafe Coffee Day (CCD). He was missing since Monday night and last seen near Netravati river in Hoige Bazaar of Mangaluru.
The body of Cafe Coffee Day (CCD) founder VG Siddhartha has been found from the Nethravathi river in Mangaluru. The body was found on the banks of the river near the Hoige Bazaar, news agency ANI reported on Tuesday morning. Siddhartha was missing mysteriously since Monday night en route to Mangaluru in Karnataka. A letter was also found which claimed that he was under tremendous pressure from lenders.
The body had washed ashore near Ullal and was fished out by local fishermen, following which police reached the spot.
“A body has been found which appears to be of Cafe Coffee Day owner VG Siddhartha,” Sasikanth Senthil, Deputy Commissioner of Dakshina Kannada, said.
Mangalore Commissioner of Police Sandeep Patil said that Siddhartha’s family has been informed and the body has been kept at Wenlock Hospital for further formalities.
A search operation was launched on Tuesday morning by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), Coast Guard, coastal police, fire services, Home Guard and local fisherman. They scoured the waters under a bridge across the swollen Nethravathi river. The 60-year-old businessman was last seen near the bridge in the Kotepura area in Dakshina Kannada district.
Siddhartha was the son-in law of former Karnataka CM and former Union minister SM Krishna.
Siddhartha had left from Bengaluru to Sakleshpur in Hassan district in a car on Monday afternoon, but on the way had asked his driver to go towards Mangaluru. On reaching the bridge, he asked his driver to stop the car and told him that he was going for a walk. He asked the driver to wait till his arrival. When he did not return even after two hours, the driver approached the police and lodged a missing complaint.
Police said that the unverified letter which was widely circulated in the social media yesterday, Siddhartha alleged there was a lot of harassment from the Income Tax department. The letter claimed that I-T had attached shares on two separate occasions to block the Mindtree deal. Siddhartha claimed that the department was taking possession of CCD shares although revised returns were filed.
“This was very unfair and has led to a serious liquidity crunch,” the letter, bearing a purported signature of the CCD owner, said. The department, however, has refuted the charges.
Meanwhile, the Coffee Day Enterprises confirmed the authenticity of the letter, saying Siddhartha wrote to the company’s board of directors on July 27. It also admitted that the letter circulating on social media was the last letter Siddhartha wrote to the board, news agency IANS reported.