A Karnataka land official’s driver who committed suicide left a note stating he killed himself because he was harassed for knowing how the officer converted into legal tender Rs 100 crore black money belonging to mining baron G Janardhan Reddy, said police.
Ramesh Gowda, the driver of special land acquisition officer Bheema Nayak, stated in the note that this money was used in the lavish wedding of Reddy’s daughter in Bengaluru on November 16, the police added. More than Rs 500 crore was reportedly splashed on the wedding, but there are no official estimates or any put out by the family.
Gowda also stated in the note that the black money was in Rs 500 and Rs 1000 denomination currency — recalled by the government — and he knew how Nayak got it changed for a hefty commission, said police.
“Gowda ended his life by consuming insecticide at Samrudh Lodge in Maddur town on Tuesday,” inspector KR Prasad of Maddur police station in Mandya district, which is 100 km southwest of Bengaluru, said on Wednesday.
“In a suicide note, Gowda has alleged he was being harassed because he knew details of the conversion of Rs 100 crore worth of black money belonging to G Janardhan Reddy by Bheema Nayak for a 20 per cent commission,” Prasad added.
Prasad said Gowda alleged in the note he was being threatened by Nayak and another of the officer’s drivers, Mohammed. “A case has been registered under section 306 (abetment of suicide) of Indian Penal Code against Nayak and Mohammed,” Prasad added.
Gowda has alleged in the note that Nayak was well acquainted with Reddy as well as his close aide B Sreeramulu, the MP from Bellary.
Despite repeated attempts, Reddy, Sreeramulu and Nayak could not be reached for comment.
Incidentally, the income tax department had surveyed Reddy’s offices in Bellary on the basis of a complaint lodged a day before his daughter’s wedding. Reddy is out on bail, granted by the Supreme Court, in a case of alleged illegal mining of iron ore.