BENGALURU: A 58-year-old owner of a travel agency committed suicide on Thursday evening as the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) allegedly kept his bills pending for years for vehicles he provided on contract to the civic body.
The deceased, identified as Maregowda, was a resident of West of Chord Road near Rajajinagar. Based on the suicide note, police have registered a case. Maregowda had separated from his first wife Janaki five years ago and was living with his second wife.
The incident came to light on Friday morning when one of his drivers, Kiran, came to his house and found him lying on the floor of his bedroom, and alerted the neighbours, a senior police officer said. He was rushed to a nearby hospital where he was declared brought dead. Magadi Road police were alerted about the incident.
The officer said, “Maregowda had consumed pesticide. In his suicide note, he also alleged that his first wife Janaki had sold his present home against his wish.” He owned two travel agencies -- Jaimaruthi and Janaki travels -- with 160 vehicles. All these vehicles, most of them cabs, were provided to the BBMP on contract for work purposes of officials, the officer said.
“In the death note, Maregowda alleged that his bills were not cleared for the past few years and some of the BBMP employees had cheated him by mentioning `600 instead of `2,000 a vehicle. He faced a financial crisis and, upset over this, he took the extreme step. We are yet to question BBMP officials in this regard.
“He had to get more than `37 lakh from the BBMP. Also, he had not paid salary to his drivers for the past few months. However, it is said that BBMP had paid him `27 lakh a few months ago, but we are investigating,” the officer said.
M K Gunashekar, chairman of the BBMP Standing Committee (Taxation and Finance) claimed that recently, there was a meeting on clearing the bills of contractors, but the BBMP staff did not update the proper bills, and this delayed the process.