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CCD founder VG Siddhartha's body found on banks of Netravati River


Mangaluru: Cafe Coffee Day (CCD) founder-chairman V.G. Siddhartha is no more, as his body was found in Karnataka's Netravathi river, near here, police said on Wednesday. He was 60.

"Two fishermen found Siddhartha's body early this morning about 500 metres away from the road bridge from where he alleged to have jumped into the river on Monday night,a Mangaluru Police Commissioner Sandeep Patil told reporters here. The port city of Mangaluru is about 360km west of Bengaluru. The body was found by the fishermen near Hoige Bazar in trousers but without shirt.

"The body has been shifted to the state-run Wenlock hospital mortuary here for autopsy. It will be handed over to Siddhartha's family and taken to Chikkamgaluru for the last rites," Ullal Congress legislator and former minister U.T. Khadar said. The 36-hour long massive search in the river, which continued over the last two night led to the spot where the body surfaced and seen by the two fishermen. "The body will be kept for homage by the public at Chikkamgaluru and the last rites will be performed at Siddharatha's native village in the Coffee district.

On Tuesday, a fisherman had claimed to have seen a man jumping into the Netravathi river from the same bridge, almost 24 hours after his driver raised an alarm about the missing businessman. Two days prior to his disappearance, the coffee baron had left behind a note to his employees that revealed he was in deep debt. The mountain of debt was impairing his business as working capital requirements could not be met. It led him to sale his stakes in IT firm Mindtree that gave him some room to manoeuvre.

"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...," his note read. In his desperation, he was also reportedly in a dialogue with global beverage maker Coca-Cola for an equity sale in flagship Cafe Coffee Day (CCD) at an enterprise valuation of around Rs 10,000 crore may have been on the anvil.

 
 

In a complaint to the police, his driver, who last saw him alive, said that Siddhartha told him to stop by the side soon as they drove on to the bridge and asked him to wait in the car at the end of the bridge as he wanted to walk up and had to make calls. "When the rain started, I took a u-turn and drove back to the spot where I left Sir and searched around for him. As it was dark, windy and raining, I could not find him anywhere on the bridge or in the river," Patil had said in the complaint.

Siddhartha left Bengaluru on Monday afternoon to Sakleshpur near Hassan where he has a house and one of his coffee estates. As it was on way to Mangaluru, he told Patil to drive towards Mangaluru after a short break at Sakleshpur to fresh-up. Siddhartha is the elder son-in-law of senior BJP leader, S.M. Krishna, who was External Affairs Minister in the UPA-2 government (2009-12) and state Chief Minister (1999-2004) when in the Congress.

 
 
 



CCD founder VG Siddhartha was little upset regarding Income Tax torture: Srinegri MLA TD Rajegowda


Mangaluru (Karanataka): Cafe Coffee Day (CCD) owner VG Siddhartha, whose body was found on the banks of Netravati River early morning on Wednesday near Hoige Bazaar, was little upset regarding the "Income Tax torture", claimed his close associate and Sringeri MLA TD Rajegowda.

"He was a close family friend of mine, for the last 40 years we have been close associates. Four-five days back he was little upset about the Income Tax torture. He also wanted to sell some of his properties to settle the debts as he had more assets than liabilities. Had he not been troubled, he would have survived," said Rajegowda. "He worked for the economy of the country as well as Karnataka. He gave jobs to 30-50 thousand people who are from villages and also to the poor," he added.

Siddhartha also alleged that he was being harassed by the previous Directorate General, Income Tax which led to him facing a "liquidity crunch". Following a massive search operation involving multiple agencies, the body of missing CCD founder-owner VG Siddhartha has been found on the banks of Netravati River near Hoige Bazaar in Mangaluru.

The 58-year-old businessman is the son-in-law of former Karnataka Chief Minister SM Krishna and has been missing since last evening from Mangaluru. Siddhartha was spotted last Monday evening at the Netravati Bridge where he had gone for a stroll, Commissioner of Police, Mangalore, Sandeep Patil had said. A massive search operation involving multiple teams of police forces along with the Coast Guard and NDRF was being carried out since Tuesday to locate Siddhartha. Police had also deployed the dog squads and inflatable boats in the search operation and roped in local fishermen to search the river.

A letter written by Siddhartha also surfaced on Tuesday in which he apologised to people who "put their trust" in him and said he failed to create the right profitable business model despite his best efforts.

 
 
 



Unnao rape victim, undergoing treatment after accident, stable: Doctors


Lucknow: The condition of the Unnao-rape survivor and her lawyer, undergoing treatment at the King George Medical University hospital here after getting critically injured in a road accident, is stable, said doctors on Tuesday.

"The rape survivor has sustained multiple fractures. A CT scan was conducted on her. It revealed no head injury. Her condition is stable and doctors are monitoring her situation round the clock." KGMU's Trauma Centre in-charge, Dr Sandeep Tiwari Tuesday told PTI. The victim, however, is still on a ventilator, he added.

Asked about her lawyer's condition, Dr Tiwari said the advocate was removed from the ventilator for sometime on Tuesday during which his condition remained stable. "He was, however, put again on the ventilator," he added. Asked if the KGMU intended to call in specialist doctors from other hospitals, Dr Tiwari said, "There is no shortage of specialists in KGMU. If needed, we can, however, call doctors from other hospitals of Lucknow."

 
 
 



I will come out of this faster and stronger: Prithvi Shaw after BCCI suspension over doping violation


New Delhi: India batsman Prithvi Shaw, who has been suspended by Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for doping violations, said that he will come out of this faster and stronger.

"Prithvi Shaw registered with Mumbai Cricket Association, has been suspended for doping violation. Shaw had inadvertently ingested a prohibited substance, which can be commonly found in cough syrups," BCCI said in a statement on Tuesday.

Following his suspension, Shaw took to Twitter posting a message which read: "I thank BCCI for all the support and also my near and dear ones who have always stood by me. Cricket is my life and there is no bigger pride for me than playing for India and Mumbai and I will come out of this faster and stronger. Thank you again everyone for the support." The cricket governing body said that it has recovered Terbutaline from the urine sample, provided by the 19-year-old cricketer during the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy match on 22nd February 2019 in Indore.

BCCI, in their statement, said that they were satisfied with the explanation given by Shaw that he had taken Terbutaline inadvertently to treat a Respiratory Tract Infection and not as a performance-enhancing drug. Although admitting that this news has really shaken him, Shaw is hoping that his incident inspires other sportspersons to stay 'extremely careful' while consuming any medicine.

"I accept my fate with all sincerety. While I am still nursing an injury which I suffered during my last tournament, this news has really shaken me. I have to take this in my stride and hope it inspires others in our sports fraternity too in India that we as athletes need to be extremely careful in taking any medicine for the smallest of medical ailments even if the medicine is available over the counter and we need to always follow the protocol," he said. The eight-month period of ineligibility would begin retrospectively from March 16 and will end on November 15 this year.

 
 
 



Cafe Coffee Day founder VG Siddhartha suspected to have committed suicide by jumping into a river: Police


Bengaluru: Cafe Coffee Day retail chain outlets founder and son-in-law of former Karnataka Chief Minister S.M. Krishna, V.G. Siddhartha, who went missing on Monday night, is suspected to have committed suicide by jumping into a river near Mangaluru, police said on Tuesday.

"Siddhartha is suspected to have jumped into the Nethravathi river near Mangaluru from the bridge though his body has not been traced so far despite massive search operation," Mangaluru Police Commissioner Sandeep Patil told reporters. Earlier, Siddhartha's driver Basavaraj Patil filed a complaint in a Mangaluru police station that his boss was missing from the bridge over the river where he got down from his car and wanted to take a walk.

"Siddhartha got down from the car on the bridge across the river and asked him (Patil) to wait at the other end of it as he wanted to walk for a while but did not turn up even an hour later," said Patil in his complaint. Police suspect Siddhartha would have jumped into the flowing river from the bridge as the driver found him missing in the area since then.

Siddhartha, 60, is the eldest son-in-law of BJP's senior leader and state's former Chief Minister S.M. Krishna. Siddhartha had sold his entire 20 per cent equity stake in the city-based software major Mindtree Ltd to the Mumbai-based Larsen & Toubro (L&T) for Rs 3,300 crore at Rs 980 per share of Rs 10 face value on March 18.

 
 
 
 



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Maharashtra government will provide compensation for flood-damaged houses in Badlapur: CM Devendra Fadnavis


Thane: The Maharashtra government will provide adequate compensation to the people from Kalyan and Badlapur towns whose houses were damaged in the July 26-27 rain and flood, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said on Monday.

The government will undertake a survey of damage caused to the houses and give adequate compensation to the affected people in these towns, he said at a function in Murbad. Heavy rains on July 26-27 had caused flooding and wreaked havoc in Kalyan and Badlapur towns of Thane district. Fadnavis said if needed, the government would take a decision on compensation in keeping in mind the new norms.

He said the last week's flood caused a lot of damage. Since 2005, a compensation of Rs 5,000 was being given for each of the dwelling damaged in floods or rains, Fadnavis said. He said the government will definitely consider giving substantial compensation for the damage. In addition, funds will be made available for repair of roads damaged in the flood in Kalyan and Badlapur, the CM said.

Fadnavis participated in a number of functions in Murbad in the afternoon. At one of the events, the chief minister said the government would soon make available to the Centre its share of 50 per cent of the cost of the proposed Kalyan-Murbad railway line. Amidst heavy downpour, the chief minister inaugurated an equestrian statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.

Fadnavis inaugurated a new building of the Murbad police station and also staff quarters. Addressing the gathering, BJP's Bhiwandi MP Kapil Patil made a surprise statement, saying he would like to contest the upcoming assembly elections in the state if the party gives him a ticket. "I would like to work as an MLA in the state rather than work as an MP," said Patil, elected from Bhiwandi, a powerloom town, just over two months ago.

 
 
 



700 passengers stranded onboard Mahalaxmi Express as heavy rains lash Mumbai


Mumbai: Mumbai-Kolhapur Mahalaxmi Express, with 700 passengers on board, was stranded as torrential rainfall continued to batter Mumbai on Saturday.

The train is held up between Vangani and Badlapur, which is 100 kilometres away from Mumbai, since 3 AM today, according to a passenger on board.

Speaking to ANI, Chief Public Relations Officer of Central Railways Sunil Udasi said Railway Protection Force and City police have reached the site where the train is held up, and biscuits and water is being distributed to the stranded passengers.

"We request passengers of Mahalaxmi Express not to get down from the train. The train is in a safe place. Staff, RPF and City Police are on the train to look after you. Please wait for advice from NDRF and other disaster management authorities," he appealed to passengers.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra's Directorate General of Information and Public Relations (DGIPR) Brijesh Singh said three boats have reached the spot where the train is stranded, adding that the Chief Secretary is looking into the situation himself.

Heavy rains lashed Mumbai, leading to traffic snarls and water-logging at several major junctions. Vehicles were seen wading through the waterlogged streets of Sion, Chembur, Gandhi Market at snail's pace due to heavy traffic jam.

Air traffic was also disrupted for a couple of hours in Mumbai, as seven flights were cancelled and around eight to nine were diverted. Around 8:15 am, Mumbai International Airport PRO had announced that flight operations returned to normal.

According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), Mumbai will continue to receive heavy rains till July 29 with the minimum and maximum temperatures hovering around 24 degree Celsius and 30 degree Celsius, respectively.

 
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