The recent death by suicide of a former professor at the Bangalore University, Prof (retired) NS Ashok Kumar, is taking a political turn with the Congress having demanded a judicial probe into the November 8 incident, alleging corruption.
Ashok Kumar, 64, who was also former Registrar (Evaluation) of the Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences, was found dead in his house in Bengaluru last Sunday – a day after vice-chancellors were selected for four cluster universities. The police had found a suicide note which stated that he was responsible for his own death.
The Congress, however, has alleged that Mr Kumar had aspired to become the vice-chancellor, and had borrowed heavily to pay a bribe to bag the post.
“A well-known professor of the Bangalore University, who had hoped to become the vice-chancellor for the past one decade, committed suicide recently. We have been told he paid a very large sum of money to the government (in exchange for the appointment); a few ministers are involved in this. His family was under immense pressure to repay this sum,” State Congress President DK Shivakumar told NDTV.
The Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee has demanded a judicial inquiry headed by a sitting High Court judge because the vice-chancellor's appointment is done by the Governor, Mr Shivakumar said.
“In Karnataka, a big corruption racket is going on in all appointments made by the Governor… everyone is agitated, including students and professors. Prof Ashok Kumar was trapped,” he said.
The National Students' Union of India had also organised a protest in state capital Bengaluru on the issue.
Health minister Dr K Sudhakar has denied all claims linking Mr Kumar's death with the BS Yediyurappa government.
"Mr Kumar's suicide note does not point a finger at anybody. In this note, he has written very clearly that he is responsible for his own death; he has not given any reason. The Congress is unnecessarily trying to point a finger at the government, trying to relate these issues. It (Mr Kumar's death) has got nothing to do with the government. No inquiry is needed," Mr Sudhakar told NDTV.
According to PTI, on November 7, Mr Kumar went to his room around midnight after speaking with his wife. When he did not come out on Sunday morning, his family went to the room, where they found him dead.
The police have filed a case of unnatural death and are investigating the case.
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