Press Trust of india

Cafe Coffee Day founder V G Siddhartha's body found

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Mangaluru, Jul 31: The body of Cafe Coffee Day founder V G 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 fished out by local fishermen.

Mangalore MLA U T 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 had told PTI earlier.

Mangalore Commissioner of Police Sandeep Patil said, "A body has been found after intense search with the help of NDRF, local coast guard police and fishermen. Further investigations are on. We have informed the family. The body has been sent to Wenlock Hospital for further formalities."

Congress MLA and Siddhartha's friend T D Rajegowda said the mortal remains will be handed over to the family.

The MLA said Siddhartha's body will be taken to his native place in Chikkamagaluru where the businessman, the founder of India's largest coffee chain, went missing mysteriously on Monday night en route to the coastal city of Mangaluru.

Political leaders condoled the death of the coffee tycoon, who was also the son-in-law of former Karnataka chief minister and BJP leader S M Krishna.

"I am deeply shocked and hurt by the demise of former chief minister S M Krishna's son-in-law and Cafe Coffee Day founder Siddhartha. May God give strength to his family and may his soul rest in piece. Om shanti," Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa said in a tweet in Kannada.

Former prime minister H D Deve Gowda also took to Twitter to express his condolences.

"I am shocked by the demise of V G Siddhartha. He was a very simple man. I knew him for the past 35 years. He had paved way for jobs for thousands of people. The government should properly investigate the cause of his tragic death," he wrote in Kannada.

Teams of National Disaster Response Force, Coast Guard, Home Guard, fire services and coastal police scoured the waters under a bridge in Kotepura area across the swollen Nethravathi river, where Siddhartha (60) was reportedly last seen on Monday night, to trace the coffee tycoon.

The businessman had left Bengaluru for Sakleshpur in Hassan district in a car on Monday afternoon, but on the way he 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 saw someone jumping off the bridge.

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