Karnataka ex-dy CM’s PA found dead

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BENGALURU: Former Karnataka deputy chief minister G Parameshwara’s personal assistant allegedly committed suicide in Bengaluru on Saturday after income-tax sleuths conducted searches on several properties of the senior Congress leader, including educational institutions.
Ramesh MS, 40, was found hanging from a tree at Bangalore University’s Jnanabharathi campus three hours after he left home, telling his family that he was going to Parameshwara’s residence.
A massive medical admission scam has been uncovered in Karnataka after the I-T department concluded raids on educational institutions and other properties owned by Parameshwara and Congress leader RL Jalappa with the amount of undisclosed income soaring to Rs 300 crore. Officials recovered cash and assets worth nearly Rs 10 crore in a 60-hour operation that concluded early on Saturday. Around 300 officials raided 32 locations in different parts of Karnataka and Rajasthan. They also found duplicate account books in Parameshwara’s colleges. His nephew Anand and his wife are also under the I-T scanner.
Ramesh, a resident of Mariyappanapalya, joined the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) office as a typist 15 years ago and later became PA to Parameshwara who was KPCC president for nearly six years. Ramesh was reportedly “privy” to all matters related to Parameshwara and was also present at the latter’s house when the I-T raids were being conducted.
In the suicide note left on the seat of his car parked 50 metres from the spot where his body was found, Ramesh said he was taking the extreme step as felt humiliated following the raids. “The mindset that poor should remain poor should change. Please do not harass my family members,” it said.
While it is not clear what transpired between him and I-T department officials during the raids, Ramesh’s wife Soumya said: “I-T officials came to our house on Friday evening and questioned him. My husband told them he would commit suicide if they harassed him. He told them he was just another employee in KPCC and we were living with dignity. However, I-T officials took him from the house around 6pm.”
Ramesh, who hailed from Mellehalli in Ramanagara district, is survived by his wife and two children.
The raids exposed seat-blocking scam involving admission to medical and dental courses for government-approved institutions which are done through the National Eligibility-Cum-Entrance Test (NEET). “During the search, we found that seats originally to be allotted by merit through medical counselling committee were converted maliciously into institutional (management) quota seats through the dropout system,” the I-T department had said in a statement on Friday.
Students who had cleared NEET and studying in other medical colleges across the country had been lured with money and are made to appear for NEET again. These students are made to opt for medical colleges (named in the scam) by blocking seats, only to opt out at the end, which would result in conversion of seats to management quota. This allowed colleges to sell these seats to other candidates, the statement said.

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