Bengaluru: The police did not rule out murder as they began their investigation into the suspicious death of IAS officer B M Vijay Shankar (59), who was found dead at his residence in Jayanagar locality of Bengaluru on Tuesday night.
The 59-year-old officer was being investigated for his role in what has come to be known as the I Monetary Fund (IMA) scam in which several powerful politicians are also alleged to be involved. When a Special Investigation Team (SIT) was set up to probe the scam he was named as accused 16. However, after transfer of the case to CBI he was made accused number 4.
What lends intrigue to the case is the fact that several of those politicians have defected to the ruling party BJP. Sources added that political leaders were shielded from the investigation while the bureaucrat was left to face the brunt of it.
During the probe, the names of politicians including former minister and political heavyweight Roshan Baig, former minister Zameer Ahmad Khan, and senior IPS officers and others cropped up. They were accused of honnobbing with the kingpin of the IMA scam, Mohammed Mansoor Khan, who is alleged to have cheated people out of thousands of crores of rupees.
Vijay Shankar was out on bail and is said to have been summoned by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to him to appear before it for questioning. The agency had twice served summonses on him.
Sources said that prima facie this could have been the trigger for a suicide, but there still was the possibility of foul play.
Vijay Shankar was deputy commissioner of Bengaluru Urban district when the allegations surfaced against him in June 2019. The Reserve Bank of India had directed the state government to conduct a probe into shady transactions in the IMA in 2018.
The government appointed Vijay Shakar to look into the matter. It was found in the investigation that IMA kingpin Mansoor Khan had contacted Vijay Shankar through an accountant Manjunath and Bangalore North Divisional officer Nagaraj and paid him Rs 1.5 crore as a bribe to get a clean chit. Vijay Shakar allegedly demanded Rs 5 crore for the same.
Vijay Shankar had completed his law degree in 2001 and was selected to the Karnataka Administrative Service (KAS) and later promoted to the IAS cadre.
He was residing in Jayanagar 4th T Block 36 Cross house with his family. The incident took place on Tuesday night when his wife, mother and two children had gone to a relative's house. When they came back they found his body on the floor of the house.
DCP Srinath Joshi visited the spot. Sources say they did not find any suicide note from the spot.
The Tilaknagar police booked a case of unnatural death and recorded statements from the man's wife and daughter. The body has been sent for a post mortem.
Vijayshankar was charged with receiving a Rs 1.50 crore bribe to give a clean chit to the company named in the IMF scam. He was arrested on July 8, 2019 but obtained bail after spending 20 days in prison.
He had been suspended from service while under the SIT probe. He was reinstated after obtaining bail.
Meanwhile, sources said the CBI was getting ready to file a chargesheet against him. Vijay Shankar allegedly requested the government not to give consent to the chargesheet but got no response....