Daijiworld Media Network - Mangaluru (DV)
Family accuses Mangaluru ISKCON chief Tarunya Sagar Das of 'murder'
Mangaluru, Aug 9: In a case of suspected murder, a Bengaluru-origin man working with the Mangaluru branch of International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) was found dead in Netravati river at Adamkudru here on Sunday August 9.
The deceased, identified as Ravi Kumar (25), son of K Narasimhamurthy and Saraswatiamma of Thippenahalli, Bengaluru, worked with ISKCON Mangaluru.
It is learnt that Ravi Kumar went missing a few days back. On Sunday, a fisherman named Clement noticed a body floating in the river, and informed the police.
The body was found in a decomposed state, indicating that Ravi Kumar might have died about three or four days ago. Also, the wire of a mobile charger was found tied around the neck and his body was tied to a bag in which there was a heavy stone.
The police had initially filed a suicide case, but later, Ravi Kumar's brother Narendra claimed that his brother was murdered and accordingly, filed a complaint. It is suspected that Ravi Kumar may have been strangled and his body thrown into the river with the heavy stone attached so that the body would sink.
Narendra has filed a complaint against ISKCON Mangaluru chief Tarunya Sagar Das.
Ravi Kumar's family has alleged that despite several attempts to get in touch with Ravi Kumar over the past few days, they did not get any satisfactory response from ISKCON Mangaluru, and also claimed that Tarunya Sagar Das had talked to them rudely when contacted.
Sources said that Ravi Kumar was a brilliant student who did his engineering in Bengaluru and followed it up with MTech from NIT-K Suratkal, in which he topped. As he was interested in religious activities, he got in touch with ISKCON volunteers in Mangaluru during his studies and later joined the organization full time. He would rarely visit his family in Bengaluru, it is learnt, but would talk to them over the phone at least two or three times a week. Over the past one week or so, his calls had totally stopped. As Ravi Kumar used to travel to other places for religious discourses, he would often be unreachable on phone, hence the family did not worry at first, his brother Narendra said.
"On Friday (August 7), one of Ravi's classmates informed us that he had not heard from Ravi since last Sunday (August 2), and people at ISKCON had failed to give any satisfactory reply. When we came to Mangaluru thereafter, our efforts to get information from ISKCON about Ravi's whereabouts bore no result. Finally, ISKCON's Sharath Vihari Das told us that Ravi had gone missing, but did not give any details," Narendra said.
"We thought he might have gone to Udupi and searched there, but today we came to know from ISKCON chief that his body has been found in Netravati river. He did not speak to us properly and gave no reply to our questions. ISKCON chief as well the organization are responsible for Ravi's death," he alleged.
The body was shifted to a private hospital for post-mortem. Police commissioner S Murugan visited the mortuary and also spoke to Ravi Kumar's father, and assured that a thorough investigation would be done.
Ullal police have registered a case and investigations led by inspector Savitra Teja and SI Bharati are under way.
ISKCON officials were unavailable for comment.