The aide of former Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara allegedly committed suicide in Bengaluru on Saturday, the Hindustan Times reported. The incident took place just a day after income tax department sleuths raided residences and colleges run by Parameshwara, a Congress leader.

“It appears that he committed suicide,” Bengaluru Deputy Commissioner of Police B Ramesh said. “We are verifying the details.” He said the body of Ramesh, the aide, was found hanging from a tree in the Gnana Bharathi area of Bengaluru.

An unidentified senior income tax official said that while Ramesh was with Parameshwara during the raids, his statement had not been recorded, nor was he a suspect, according to PTI.

Parameshwara expressed surprise at the death of his aide. “He was a very good boy. He was with me since I was Congress party president,” Parameshwara said. “He used to work diligently no matter what the circumstance.”

“I don’t know why he has taken such a drastic step,” the Congress leader added. “Even in the morning, when he left my house, I told him not to worry about these raids and that nothing would happen to him. I can’t believe that he has taken such a step. I don’t know if he was under any pressure.”

The raids were conducted as part of an investigation into a medical seat scam. I-T officials said they had recovered Rs 4 crore worth of property so far in searches at 30 locations across the state linked to Parameshwara and former Union minister RL Jalappa.

Meanwhile, the Karnataka unit of the Congress blamed the income tax department for Ramesh’s death. “IT dept claims second victim in State after Siddharth,” it tweeted, referring to Cafe Coffee Day founder VG Siddhartha, who had also committed suicide in July. “Harassment from BJP controlled IT department has claimed life of Ramesh. In its rush to pester opposition, they have surpassed all levels of Humanity & has repeatedly exceeded its mandate. This is condemnable and unheard of.”

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