Manhandled Karnataka upper house deputy chairman dies by suicide

SL Dharmegowda was recently manhandled for trying to chair a Legislative Council session illegally

Dharmegowda allegedly committed suicide by jumping in front of a running train between 11 pm and 12 midnight at Mankehalli railway track on Monday | File Photo: Council website

Karnataka Legislative Council Deputy Chairman SL Dharmegowda has allegedly died by suicide and his body was found near a rail track in Chikkamagauru district on Tuesday morning, police said, adding that a note has been found near his body.

The body was found on a rail track near Gunasagara in Kadur taluk, police added. The 64-year-old Dharmegowda, who was an MLC from the Janata Dal (Secular), is survived by his wife, son, and a daughter. His brother, S L Bhoje Gowda, is also an MLC.

Dharmegowda was recently in news when he was manhandled for trying to chair an Upper House session illegally.

Sources said he had left his farmhouse at Sakharayapattana in a private car on Tuesday evening but did not return home, following which his family members and staff started searching for him. He had reportedly asked his driver to stay at a distance and went alone on the pretext of talking to someone. They said a suicide note has been recovered.

The body has been shifted to the McGann Hospital in Shivamogga, official sources said.

Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa has expressed shock over the incident, terming it “unfortunate”. He has lauded the MLC for efficiently conducting the legislative council as its deputy chairman.

Expressing grief, JD(S) patriarch and former prime minister H D Deve Gowda, in a tweet, remembered him as a gentleman politician. His death is a loss to the state, he added. His son and

JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy said Dharmegowda was like a brother to him. “His death has caused a shock to me. He was an upright politician,” said the and former chief minister.

Dharmegowda was at the centre of the high drama in the legislative council on December 15, which saw BJP-JD(S) and Congress members hurling abuses and pushing each other over a row pertaining to a no-trust motion against Chairman K Pratapachandra Shetty.

Shocking videos had shown Dharme Gowda, who was on the Chairman’s seat, was dragged down during the ruckus by some Congress legislators who accused him of occupying the chair illegally.

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