Karnataka Legislative Council deputy chairman SL Dharme Gowda commits suicide

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SL Dharme Gowda

Bengaluru: In a shocking development, Karnataka Legislative Council Deputy Chairman Sarapanahalli Lakshmaiah Dharme Gowda allegedly committed suicide by jumping from a moving train last night and his body was found near the railway track at Gunasagar village of Kadur taluk in Chikkamagalur district at 2 am on Tuesday.

The body was recovered near the railway track around 2 am on Tuesday. A suicide note was also found at the site. the police said. The contents of the suicide note is not disclosed.

“The matter is under investigation. There was a death note recovered from the site but cannot give out details of what’s in it,’’ police said.

According to police sources, Dharme Gowda had asked his official gunman and escort to leave him alone on Monday evening. He had left his home in Shakarayapatna in his old personal Santro car with his driver and came to Gunasagar at around 6 pm. He then asked his driver to leave him as he had to meet someone.

His last call is said to have made enquiries about train timings from a friend in Kadur. When Dharme Gowda did not return home even late at night, his family is said to have alerted authorities who mounted a search. Based on cell signals, they located his body on the Mankenahalli railway track. The head was separated from the body.

SL Dharme Gowda

His body has been sent for autopsy to Shivamogga and according to his brother Bhoje Gowda the last rites would be held at the Madagadakere farmhouse that the family owns in Shakaryapatna.

Dhame Gowda is survived by his wife and two children. He was elected to the Legislative Council in 2018 and after the Congress and JD(S) formed a coalition government with H D Kumaraswamy as the Chief Minister, Dharme Gowda was elected as the Deputy Chairman and Congress leader Pratapchandra Shetty as Chairman of the Upper House from June 2018.

Soft spoken and amiable S L Dharmegowda, who just celebrated his birthday on December 16 completing 65 years, hails from the politically powerful Vokkaliga community and belongs to the JD(S) headed by former Prime Minister and national president H D Deve Gowda and his son, the former Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, who are also from the same community.

He was a close associate of JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy, and his father S R Lakshmaiah was a three-time MLA from Birur assembly constituency. Dharme Gowda himself had once been elected from there in 2004. His brother S L Bhoje Gowda is also an MLC from JD(S).