'Mahantesh paid with his life for being honest'

'Mahantesh paid with his life for being honest'

It was a heartrending scene when the body of S P Mahantesh was brought to his residence at Vittalanagar in Chamarajpet on Sunday afternoon.

Hundreds of friends, relatives and colleagues had gathered at the residence awaiting the arrival of the body. The officer’s wife Purnima collapsed and lost consciousness for a while as soon as she saw the body. She was given medication and put on drips.

Ten-year-old Ragini and eight-year-old Deepika, the couple’s daughters, were completely distraught as they shuffled helplessly between their wailing mother and the body of their dead father.

“It’s the most tragic day for all KAS officers across the State. We never expected such an end to an honest officer. The incident is surely a big blow to our morale,” a few colleagues of Mahantesh told Deccan Herald.

The officers refused to buy the road rage theory and called it a “well-hatched conspiracy”. “Mahantesh’s murder is a disrepute to the State and the incident will turn the State into another Bihar or Uttar Pradesh where non-corrupt civil service officers are brutally murdered,” they said.

While demanding a fair and speedy investigation into the matter, the officers said they would support Mahantesh’s family in every way possible.

Mahantesh’s mother, Vijayamma, 65, broke down as she sat near the body. “How can I tell Ragini and Deepika that their father is no more? I only know how much pain I went through while raising him. For a mother, nothing can be worse than seeing her son’s death,” she said.

Nagarudrappa, the officer’s brother-in-law, said Mahantesh had paid with his life for being honest.

Anti-govt slogans raised

Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda was at the receiving end of the family members and colleagues’ ire as they raised slogans against the government as soon as he and Law Minister Suresh Kumar walked into the house.

“The government has failed to ensure the security of honest officers. The police are simply hushing up the matter even after four days. Some highly influential persons are involved in the attack and the government is deliberately trying to derail the investigation process,” they charged.

The government should order a probe from an independent investigative agency as the local police could not handle such a sensitive case, they said.

The staff members of the Audit Department questioned the chief minister for the delay in making any arrests. They demanded a CID investigation into the incident.

Gowda and Suresh Kumar were shocked by the reaction and allegations, and left the house in a hurry without making any promises or assurances. The chief minister evaded the media too. Housing Minister V Somanna also visited the house of Mahantesh and offered his condolences.

The cremation took place at Vittalanagar near Chamarajpet on Sunday evening and thousands of people took part in the cremation.

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