India’s largest Coffee chain Café Coffee Day (CCD) owner-founder VG Siddhartha has gone missing since Monday, (29 July) night. He is also the son-in-law of former Karnataka Chief Minister and BJP leader, SM Krishna and owns India’s largest coffee estate.
According to the reports, Siddhartha was supposed to travel from Bengaluru to Sakleshpur. However, he instead asked his driver to take him to Ullal Bridge, over the Netravati river, Mangaluru on Monday evening. On reaching the bridge, he got down from the car and told the driver that he will travel the remaining distance by walk. With Siddhartha not returning, the family reported the police, who launched a massive search operation. As many as 200 personnel, including 25 swimmers, firefighters, and dog squads have been deployed to locate the CCD owner.
With constant rains playing the spoilsport in Karnataka, the water level in the Netravati River has risen to a significant level. Making matters worse, a few reports on social media fear suicide, causing the worries to escalate with each passing hour.
On 27 July 2019, a letter was reportedly written by Siddhartha to the CCD staff and the Board of Directors. While the authenticity of the letter is yet to be confirmed, it reads, “I would like to say I gave it my all. 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.”
The letter further had the CCD owner mention harassment from the previous DG income tax “in the form of attaching our shares on two separate occasions to block our Mindtree deal and then taking position of our Coffee Day shares.” Former Karnataka Chief Minister Kumaraswamy too, who visited Siddartha’s house on Tuesday, blamed the I-T department for harassing the CCD owner.