A police team has been constituted to probe the death of Cafe Coffee Day founder V G Siddhartha, Mangaluru police commissioner Sandeep Patil said on Thursday, 1 August.
Cafe Coffee Day (CCD) Founder VG Siddhartha was cremated at his coffee estate in Karnataka’s Chikkamagaluru on Wednesday, 31 July, as thousands thronged to pay their last respects.
The coffee tycoon’s body was recovered from the Netravati river early on Wednesday.
Siddhartha had gone missing on Monday night en route to Karnataka's Mangaluru. A letter which was purportedly written by him was recovered shortly after, wherein he had stated he was under "tremendous pressure" from lenders and private equity partners. The letter had also alleged "harassment" at the hands of tax authorities.
- The body has been sent to Wenlock Hospital for post-mortem
- The I-T department did not verify Siddhartha’s letter independently, saying the initials don’t match his filings
- Mangaluru police said Siddhartha’s family was alerted by the driver after he did not return to his car for an hour
- Shares of Coffee Day Enterprises hit a 20 percent lower circuit on both Tuesday and Wednesday
Police Team Set up to Probe CCD Founder VG Siddhartha’s Death
A police team has been constituted to probe the death of Cafe Coffee Day founder V G Siddhartha, Mangaluru police commissioner Sandeep Patil said Thursday.
The team will be headed by assistant commissioner of police (Mangaluru south sub-division), T Kodandaram.
"We are waiting for the post-mortem report which will make it clear how the death happened," Patil told reporters at Mangaluru.
A police team that left for Bengaluru earlier had questioned the executives and employees of the company and gathered a lot of information, he said.
"In the coming days also, we will question some other people too," he added.
Two mobile phones were seized, which the police were analysing, Patil said, adding one was found with Siddhartha, while the other was in the late business man's car.
CCD Founder VG Siddhartha Cremated in Chikkamagaluru
CCD Founder VG Siddhartha has been cremated at his estate in Karnataka’s Chikkamagaluru.
Siddhartha's Last Rites Underway at His Estate in Chikkamagaluru
Coffee tycoon VG Siddhartha’s last rites begin in Chikkamagaluru as people throng to pay their respects.
Siddhartha's Body Moved to His Estate for Last Rites
VG Siddhartha’s mortal remains has been moved to his Chetanhalli estate in Mudigere Taluk for last rites.
'Don't You Think It's a Dangerous Signal for the Country?': Mamata Banerjee
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee expressed her condolences and said the industrialist’s demise is “a dangerous signal for the country.”
“I'm feeling sad today because it should not be the future of the industry or agriculture,” Banerjee said.
CCD Changes Its Twitter Handle's Display Picture to Black
The Cafe Coffee Day has changed its official Twitter handle’s display picture from the usual red to black.
Today we remember the legend that inspired us all. Thank you Chairman VG Siddhartha for your vision, leadership and the great legacy. pic.twitter.com/tYMiglgofe— Cafe Coffee Day (@CafeCoffeeDay) July 31, 2019
BS Yediyurappa Pays His Respects to VG Siddhartha
Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa pays his respects to CCD Founder VG Siddhartha at Chikkamagaluru.
“He was a simple man, a pioneer in popularising Indian coffee across the world. I can't imagine why a person who was under the guidance of SM Krishna Ji end his life. I give my tributes to his family,” Yediyurappa said, according to ANI.
Former Karnataka Chief Minister Kumaraswamy, former state ministers D Shivakumar and KG George were also present at the ceremony.
CCD Appoints SV Ranganath as Interim CEO
Cafe Coffee Day has appointed SV Ranganath as its interim CEO after the death of founder-chairman VG Siddhartha.
Company Formalities Being Completed: CCD CFO
R Ram Mohan, CFO and Chairman, SICAL, Logistics firm and Subsidiary of CCD, said that all statutory formalities of the company are being completed.
“Completely grief stricken, not able to talk anything on letter. Let the body be buried after that we will come to that,” said Mohan.
Former K'Taka CM SM Krishna Leaves for Siddhartha's Last Rites
Former Karnataka Chief Minister SM Krishna, VG Siddhartha’s father-in-law has left for Siddhartha’s last rites from his residence in Bengaluru. The last rites ceremony for VG Siddhartha will be held in Belur Taluk at around 2 pm today.
'Saw It Floating in River': Fisherman Who Spotted VG Siddhartha's Body
Rithesh, the fisherman who spotted CCD founder VG Siddhartha’s body in the Netravati river on Wednesday, 31 July, told news agency ANI that he was also a part of the rescue operations.
“I was out fishing when I spotted the body. I had participated in the rescue operations with the district administration yesterday as well,” he said.
Siddhartha's Mortal Remains to Be Kept for Public Viewing
CCD founder VG Siddhartha's mortal remains will be kept for public viewing at the ABC office in Chikkamagaluru from 2 pm to 4:30 pm on Wednesday, 31 July. Later, his body will be taken to the Chetanhalli estate in Mudigere taluk for last rites.
'Siddhartha Was Upset With Tax Torture': Sringeri MLA Rajegowda
Sringeri MLA TD Rajegowda on Wednesday, 31 July, said that VG Siddhartha was distressed about the "income tax torture" he was facing.
The MLA also said that the CCD founder wanted to sell two-three properties to settle all the debts, since he had more assets than liabilities.
“His family members have decided that the cremation will take place at his father's estate in Belur Taluk,” Rajegowda said.
'Sad About VG Siddhartha's Unfortunate Death': Siddaramaiah
Former Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah took to Twitter on Wednesday to offer his condolences following the death of CCD founder VG Siddhartha.
Very sad to know about the unfortunate death of Shri. V G Siddhartha. His contribution to Karnataka & India through his entrepreneurship shall be an example & always be remembered.— Siddaramaiah (@siddaramaiah) July 31, 2019
My deepest condolences to Shri. S M Krishna and family members & well-wishers of Siddhartha.
'Siddhartha's Death Result of Harassment by I-T Dept': K'taka Cong
The Karnataka Congress on Wednesday, 31 July, said that CCD founder VG Siddhartha's death was a result of harassment at the hands of I-T officials and points towards the decline of India’s entrepreneurial position.
#VGSiddhartha case is very unfortunate.— Karnataka Congress (@INCKarnataka) July 31, 2019
Result of harassment by IT officials & decline of India’s entrepreneurial position turning virulent by the day, with Tax Terror & collapse of economy
Companies which flourished under UPA have been shut down with many people being jobless pic.twitter.com/rbwUymoM3B
Relatives, Friends Positively Identify Siddhartha's Body
Friends and relatives of CCD founder VG Siddhartha have positively identified his mortal remains, which were recovered on the banks of Netravati river in Mangaluru early on Wednesday, PTI quoted Mangalore MLA UT Khader as saying.
'Body Sent for Post-Mortem, Family Informed': Mangaluru Police
Mangaluru Commissioner of Police, Sandeep Patil, said on Wednesday, 31 July, that the family members of CCD founder VG Siddhartha had been informed of his death.
He also confirmed that his body had been sent to Mangaluru’s Wenlock Hospital for post-mortem.
Decomposed Body of CCD Founder VG Siddhartha Recovered
After more than 36 hours of an extensive search, the decomposed body of Cafe Coffee Day founder VG Siddhartha was recovered from the banks of the Netravati river near Hoige Bazaar in Mangaluru.
Search Operation Underway for CCD Founder in Mangaluru
Authenticity of CCD Founder Siddhartha’s Note Not Known: I-T Dept
The Income Tax Department, on Tuesday, 30 July, said the authenticity of the note being attributed to missing CCD founder VG Siddhartha is "not known". The officials added that the signature in the note does not tally with that of Siddhartha's in his annual reports.
CCD Board Issues Statement After Emergency Meet
The CCD Board held an emergency meeting on Tuesday, 30 July, in order to evaluate the situation after the company founder went missing, according to their statement.
“Will ensure continuity of all business operations consistent with past behaviour," the statement read, adding that appropriate steps are being formulated to ensure business operations are not affected.
New Political Culture Has Instilled Fear in Struggling Business Owners: Sanjay Jha
Congress Spokesperson Sanjay Jha blamed the current political culture for the CCD founder’s disappearance, saying it “has created a disturbing fear in the minds of struggling business owners.”
#VGSiddhartha’s unfortunate circumstance has lot to do with the new political culture that has created a disturbing fear in the minds of struggling business owners . They are being branded as criminal fraudsters and conspiring crooks, reputations destroyed.— Sanjay Jha (@JhaSanjay) July 30, 2019
Tax Department Acted As Per Law in CCD Promoter Case: Official Sources
The Income Tax Department has acted as per law in its probe against Cafe Coffee Day promoter VG Siddhartha, official sources said on Tuesday, after a letter written by him accused tax authorities of harassment, according to PTI.
Refuting the charges, the sources said the provisional attachment made by the department was undertaken to protect the “interests of revenue” and was based on credible evidence gathered in the search.
Letter Written By Siddhartha Genuine, Confirm Police
The note written by VG Siddhartha, son-in-law of former Karnataka CM SM Krishna and the owner-founder of the Cafe Coffee Day (CCD) chain, is genuine, confirmed police.
VG Siddhartha Not Reachable Since Yesterday: CS Tells BSE
VG Siddhartha’s Company Secretary wrote to the Bombay Stock Exchange that he has not been reachable since 29 July evening.
Siddhartha's Alleged Letter Fishy: DK Shivakumar Calls for Investigation
Congress leader DK Shivakumar called the alleged letter of VG Siddhartha “fishy” and demanded a thorough investigation into the same.
"“He has provided a lifeline for more than 50,000 households. He was not overambitious and led a simple life. For me it is hard to believe this incident. So I have asked for an investigation into the matter. He is an asset to the country.” " - DK Shivakumar, Congress leader
However, I find this utterly fishy and urge that a thorough Investigation be conducted into this matter.— DK Shivakumar (@DKShivakumar) July 30, 2019
Shri Siddhartha and his family were closely known to me for decades now.
Karnataka MP Seeks Rajnath Singh's Help to Trace Siddhartha
BJP MP Shobha Karandlaje has written to Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh seeking help of central government to trace VG Siddhartha.
HD Kumaraswamy Meets SM Krishna
Former Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy arrives at SM Krishna’s residence in Bengaluru.
Navy, Coast Guard to Help Locate Siddhartha
District Collector on location said they have asked for divers from Navy and Coast Guard to help locate Siddhartha.
Karnataka MPs Submit Letter to Home Minister Amit Shah to Help Find Siddhartha
Karnataka MPs submit letter to Home Minister Amit Shah asking for Centre’s help to trace VG Siddhartha.
Coffee Day Shares Tank
Shares of Coffee Day Enterprises hit a 20 percent lower circuit on Tuesday after Siddhartha went missing, CNBC-TV18 reported.
'I Have Failed': VG Siddhartha's Letter Highlighting Financial Trouble Surfaces
A letter purportedly written by CCD founder VG Siddhartha’s to all the employees has surfaced. The authenticity of the letter could not be directly verified by The Quint. The letter was reportedly issued on 27 July, 2019.
'Checking Who All Siddhartha Spoke To': Police Commissioner
Mangaluru Police Commissioner Sandeep Patil told ANI that Siddhartha’s conversations through the day are being traced.
“Boat service and help of local fishermen being taken to conduct search operation in the Netravati river. We are checking with whom all he spoke last,” he said.
Search Being Conducted with Help of Locals: UT Khadar
Congress leader UT Khadar is present at the site of search operation for Siddhartha.
“I was shocked when I got the news. Police Commissioner and the District Collector have ordered a search operation, it is being carried out with support from locals,” he said.
'Was Asked to Head to Mangaluru': Driver Gives Statement
Siddhartha’s driver, who was with him en route Bengaluru just before he went missing said that he was asked to head to Mangaluru instead. Here’s his full statement:
“I've been driving with Siddaratha for last 3 years. I went to his Bangalore residence at 8 am and then to Vittal Mallya’s office and came back home at 11 am. At 12: 30 pm he asked me to drive towards Sakleshpur. I was driving an Innova. He then asked me to head towards Mangalore. When I was entering the main Mangalore circle, he asked me to take a left to go to a site. We reached Kerala highway and drove for 3-4 kms. He asked me to stop at a bridge and asked me to be at the end of the bridge till he returns. I then got down from the car. He later asked me to sit inside the car and drive to the other side of the bridge. At 8:00 pm I called him but his phone as off. I then called his son and he said he will call him too. I later filed a complaint.”
Karnataka CM Yediyurappa, DK Shivakumar Visit SM Krishna
People gather at former Karnataka CM SM Krishna's residence in Bengaluru. Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa and Congress leaders DK Shivakuma and BL Shankar also visit.
'Driver Alerted Family After Siddhartha Didn't Return For an Hour': Police
Mangaluru Commissioner Sandeep Patil told TNM that the family was alerted by the driver after he did not return for an hour.
“According to the driver Siddhartha left from Bengaluru to Mangaluru on Monday night. They were crossing National Highway 66 and the driver was asked to stop the car at the bridge over Netravati River in Ullal. He was talking on his mobile phone when he asked his driver to stop the car and is said to have walked away from the car. He told his driver he would be back soon and that was the last time his driver saw him,” Mangaluru Commissioner Sandeep Patil told TNM.
VG Siddhartha Goes Missing: Who Is He?
VG Siddhartha, son-in-law of veteran BJP leader SM Krishna and the owner-founder of the Cafe Coffee Day chain, has been reported missing since Monday, 29 July. Police officials have launched a probe into his disappearance.
Siddhartha is the proprietor of CCD, the cafe chain which was launched more than two decades ago. The News Minute, quoting an Economic Times story in 2015 reported that CCD has 1,550 stores, around 31,000 vending machines and 12,000 corporate accounts. It has outlets in many international locations including outlets in Prague, Vienna and Kuala Lumpur.
According to a Forbes report, VG Siddhartha is worth more than 1.15 billion dollars and had shares in tech company Mindtree until March 2019 when he sold them to L&T. He also has shares in a few companies in the hospitality sector.
According to his profile on MindTree, his family has been in the coffee growing business for more than 130 years. The Coffee Day Group has interests in coffee retailing, logistics, technology parks (SEZ and STP scheme), financial services and investments in technology and software companies.
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