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Sunday 7 June 2020

Siddhartha confirmed dead; body found

The body of Café Coffee Day head VG Siddhartha, who had jumped off a river bridge, washed ashore near Ullal and was taken out by local fishermen

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Mangaluru: The body of Café Coffee Day founder VG Siddhartha, who had gone missing, was found on Wednesday in the Netravati river in Dakshina Kannada district of Karnataka after 36 hours of intense search, officials said.

The body had washed ashore near Ullal and was taken out by local fishermen. Mangalore MLA UT Khader said friends and relatives have confirmed that the body is of Siddhartha.

Earlier, police had said the body, which appeared to be of Siddhartha, was yet to be identified by his family. “A body has been found, which appears to be of him. Final confirmation has to be done by the family,” deputy commissioner of Dakshina Kannada district Sasikanth Senthil said.

Mangalore Commissioner of Police Sandeep Patil said the body has been kept at Wenlock Hospital for further formalities.

Siddhartha, the founder of India’s largest coffee chain, had gone missing mysteriously on Monday night en route the coastal city of Mangaluru. A letter, which read like a suicide note from Siddhartha, was reported on 30 July.

Teams of National Disaster Response Force, Coast Guard, Home Guard, fire services and coastal police scoured the waters under a bridge across the swollen Nethravathi river, where the 60-year old was reportedly last seen, to trace the coffee tycoon.

Siddhartha, also the son-in-law of former Karnataka chief minister and BJP leader SM Krishna, was last seen near the bridge in Kotepura area on Monday night, police said.

Siddhartha had left Bengaluru for Sakleshpur in Hassan district in a car on Monday afternoon, but on the way had asked his driver to go towards Mangaluru, police said. On reaching the bridge, he got off the car and told his driver he was going for a walk.

A fisherman had on Tuesday claimed that he had seen someone jumping off the bridge.

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