VG Siddhartha, founder-owner of the famous chain of Cafe Coffee Day and son-in-law of former Karnataka Chief Minister SM Krishna has gone missing near the Netravati River in Mangaluru.
According to the police, Siddhartha was last seen on the river bridge. He reportedly got down from his car near the Netravati river bridge and asked his driver Basavaraj Patil to go ahead and wait.
According to a statement by the driver of the businessman, they were going to Sakleshpur from Bengaluru in a Toyota Innova, when in the middle of the journey Siddhartha asked him to go to Mangaluru.
The police have launched a massive search operation near the 1-km-long bridge.
Mangaluru Police Commissioner, Sandeep Patil said that boats were deployed and local fishermen were called in to conduct search operations in the Netravati river. The police are also checking Siddhartha’s last contact details.
According to a report in NDTV, police also used a dog squad on the bridge which stopped at a point in the middle of the bridge.
Meanwhile, a letter has emerged reportedly written by VG Siddhartha to the management and employees of CCD in which he has expressed unhappiness over not creating “the right profitable business”.
“… I am very sorry to let down all the people that put their trust in me. I fought for a long time but today I gave up as I could not take any more pressure from one of the private equity partners forcing me to buy back shares, a transaction I had partially completed six months ago by borrowing a large sum of money from a friend. Tremendous pressure from other lenders lead to me succumbing to the situation…,” a letter quoted by ANI read.
He also mentioned the income tax raids in September 2017 in the letter.
The offices and residence of CCD’s founder-owner and its other officials in Bengaluru, Chikkamagaluru, Hassan and Mysuru across Karnataka were also searched.
The businessman further urged his employees to be “strong” and “continue running the business with a new management” while taking responsibility for “all mistakes”.
On a concluding note, he said that he “never intended to cheat anyone” and that he has “failed as an entrepreneur”.
Congress leader, UT Khadar who reached the site of search operation expressed his shock over the incident.
Meanwhile, BJP MP Shobha Karandlaje has written to Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh seeking the help of the Central government in tracing the missing CCD founder.