Chikkamagaluru/Mangaluru: The uncrowned king of Chikkamagaluru and founder of the iconic Cafe Coffee Day (CCD) chain, V.G. Siddhartha, was accorded an emotional farewell on Wednesday evening by thousands of people across the coffee-growing districts in Belur, in an outpouring of grief rarely seen for a man who held no office and aspired to none.
Hope died and there were looks of despair all around when the body of Siddhartha was found - with his shirt missing but his mobile phone from which he had made his last few calls, tucked into his trousers - after a 36-hour long search early at 6.30 am Wednesday morning, ended with local fishermen spotting it on the beach near Hoige Bazaar, near Ullal in Mangaluru about 1 km downstream of the Ullal Bridge where he was last seen alive.
Consigned to the flames, with his grief-stricken family and a sea of mourners in attendance in his native Chikkamagaluru district, his body was discovered after Indian Navy, NDRF, Coast Guard, Home Guards, fire department, the coastal police and local fishermen launched a massive search operation on Tuesday morning, after he was suspected to have thrown himself into the swirling waters of the Netravathi river Monday evening.
There was no clue of Siddhartha's whereabouts till Tuesday night but on Wednesday at around 6.30 am, a team of three fishermen who had gone fishing, found the body floating in the water and brought it to the shore near Karnataka Fisheries Development Corporation (KFDC) at Hoige Bazaar. They immediately alerted the fire department and police officials following which a team led by Mangaluru police commissioner Sandeep Patil and former Minister U.T. Khader rushed to the spot. Khader told reporters that a relative of Siddhartha who was in Mangaluru identified the body and confirmed it was the CCD owner.