Cafe Coffee Day founder, and son-in-law of former union minister SM Krishna, VG Siddhartha has gone missing near Netravati River in Mangaluru. The police have launched a massive search but so far they have failed to trace him. According to reports, Siddhartha - who owns India's largest Coffee chain CCD, got off from his car near a bridge across the Nethravathi River. He was speaking to someone over the mobile phone when he got off from the car.
When he did not return even after an hour, his driver started looking for him but in vain. The driver then alerted the family members who in turn informed the police.
Congress leader UT Khadar, who is present as the site of the search operation, expressed shock over the development.
Karnataka: VG Siddhartha, son-in-law of former CM SM Krishna and the founder-owner of Cafe Coffee Day, has gone missing near Netravati River in Mangaluru; Search operation underway. pic.twitter.com/qQf1H3xzAV— ANI (@ANI) July 30, 2019
"I was shocked when I got the news. Police Commissioner and DC have ordered a search operation, it is being carried out with support from locals," Khadar said.
More than 200 policemen and divers on about 25 boats were carrying out searches for him. Deputy commissioner of Dakshina Kannada district Senthil Sasikant Senthil said that sniffer dogs have also been pressed into service.
"The help of local fishermen is being taken in the search. We are checking who all he spoke to over phone," Mangaluru Police Commissioner Sandeep Patil said in a message.
Meanwhile, Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa and Congress leader DK Shivakumar and BL Shankar visited former Karnataka chief minister SM Krishna at his residence in Bengaluru, early morning today.
Siddhartha is the founder-owner of CCD, a chain of coffee outlets in India, and has been its chairman and managing director since January 17, 2015.The company sources coffee beans from its plantations in Chikkamagaluru.
He is also an investor and has stakes in some IT firms, including Mindtree, and is among the largest exporters of coffee bean in the country.
In 2017, Income Tax officials raided properties belonging Siddhartha, who is also the chairman and managing director of the CCD group.
Searches were conducted at over 20 locations across the country, including those in Bengaluru, Mumbai, Chennai and Chikkamagaluru, Income Tax department sources had said.
In May this year, Infratsructure major Larsen & Toubro purchased around 20 per cent stake of Siddhartha and Coffee Day in Mindtree through block deal for about Rs 3,210 crore.
L&T has entered into a deal to buy Cafe Coffee Day owner Siddhartha's 20.32 per cent stake in Mindtree and has also placed an order with brokers to pick up another 15 per cent of the company shares from the open market for about Rs 2,500 crore.
Subsequent to these deals, L&T made an open offer to buy additional 31 per cent stake through an open offer.
Mindtree had formed a panel of independent directors to look into "unsolicited open offer" by infrastructure major L&T to give its recommendations.
Mindtree's promoters have called L&T bid as hostile and raised corporate governance issues at L&T and culture difference between the two companies.
The co-founders in a letter said that many institutional investors, clients and employees of MindTree have expressed their reservations to be part of an L&T-controlled organisation due to cultural difference between the two companies.