Promises action against police officials named in his letter if they’re found guilty

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Tuesday said he had ordered an inquiry by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) into the June 29 suicide of Ripon Malhotra, the share broker who reportedly left behind a note accusing two senior police officers of trying to extort money from him when he ran up huge debts and was besieged by creditors.

In his five-page handwritten note addressed to the Chief Minister, the 54-year-old alleged that the then City Police Commissioner as well as D. Devaraj, the head of the Central Crime Branch (CCB), had harassed him for money.

Mr. Siddaramaiah said that the government would consider taking action against the police officials if they are found guilty.

Director-General of CID Bipin Gopalakrishna told The Hindu he was awaiting the formal government order to begin the investigation. “If it comes to the CID, we will investigate the matter thoroughly.”

What the note says

Even though the stockbroker did not identify the Police Commissioner by name, it was B.G. Jyothi Prakash Mirji who held the post when Malhotra ended his life at his rented house in Ashwini Layout in Ejipura last Saturday.

In his suicide note, he had accused the two police officers of acting like “recovery agents”. He alleged that CCB chief Devaraj was pressuring him “to pay up Rs 7 crore or die”, besides threatening to foist false cases against him and to put him behind bars if he did not fork out the sum.

The stockbroker alleged that no less a person than the Police Commissioner himself had summoned his office staff and misbehaved with them.

Curiously, even though the note accuses the senior cops of harassing him for money, the last bit states: “I do not blame anybody”.

Malhotra, who was the chief executive officer of the Rippsons Group of Companies in Pune, was found hanging at his residence last Saturday.

In debt

The Viveknagar police, referring to claims in his note that he had lost heavily in the shares and commodities market and was going through a lot of difficulties for the last 15 months, said this could have led him to end his life.

His debts reportedly ran into several crores.

According to the police, many who had invested in his business were allegedly cheated by him. The CCB police had detained him for questioning a couple of times over the last few weeks after they learnt that cases had been filed against him in different parts of the country, including his native Pune.

The CCB police also said that they had issued a notice to him after a case had been registered against him in the Whitefield police station. In February 2007, Malhotra and his wife had been booked by the economic and cyber offences wing for allegedly transferring shares illegally into their accounts and for allegedly conning a Pune retiree of Rs. 10 lakh.

The Viveknagar police, who are investigating the suicide, said they needed to verify whether the letter was indeed written by Malhotra. “We will subject the letter to examination by the Forensic Sciences Laboratory (FSL) to analyse the handwriting,” the police said.

Senior police officials were tight-lipped about the matter.

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