K'taka Cong chief demands judicial probe into suicide of retired professor

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Bengaluru, Nov 9 (PTI) Karnataka Congress President D K Shivakumar on Monday demanded a judicial probe by a sitting High Court Judge into the death of retired Bangalore University professor N S Ashok Kumar.

Ashok Kumar (64), who was also former Registrar (Evaluation) of the Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences, was found dead in his house at Mico Layout here on Sunday.

He was found hanging and a purported note said he was responsible for his own death, police said.

Shivakumar on Monday claimed that Kumar had paid Rs 2.5 crore to 'influential people' in exchange to get appointed as a vice-chancellor.

'This suicide is shocking and discussions are going on regarding the reason behind it.

On the issue of appointment of four vice chancellors there have been some (financial) transactions.

The professor (Kumar) borrowed loans and was made to wait 5-6 months. But he did not get the position nor the money back. Therefore, he took the extreme step,' Shivakumar said.

Speaking to reporters here, he alleged that influential people were involved.

'...who took (the money), which official or Minister or middle man.. everything has to be inquired into, there is a need for it (inquiry).

Influential people have taken money, those in government are party to it, this is what we are hearing,' he alleged.

On November 7, the state government had appointed vice- chancellors to four new universities - Maharani Cluster University, Raichur University, Nrupathunga University and Mandya University.

Stating that Kumar was told that there was some problem with his file and his money wasnt returned, Shivakumar alleged that 'big people' were involved in the financial transactions and corruption in appointment of the VCs.

'There are discussions that the vice chancellor post is for sale under this government...In this background I want to tell the Chief Minister that those part of your government are trying to malign your name.

....I urge the CM to constitute a judicial commission under a sitting High Court judge to inquire,' he added.

According to police, Kumar, who was living with his wife and son, went to his room at midnight on Saturday after speaking to her.

As he did not come out on Sunday morning, the family members went to his room, where they found him hanging.

Police have filed a case of unnatural death and are investigating the case. PTI KSU APR RAVINDRANATH APR RAVINDRANATH