On Monday, VG Siddhartha left Bengaluru at around 11 am, telling his driver to drive towards Chikkamagaluru, 240 km away. But half way through, he changed his mind and asked him to go towards Sakleshpur and then to Mangaluru in coastal Karnataka.
According to Mangaluru police commissioner, Sandeep Patil, on reaching the bridge on river Netravathi while they were on National Highway 66 in the evening, he got down from the car. He was speaking on the phone at that time and Siddhartha reportedly asked the driver to go ahead and stop. He said he will come walking.
The police believe it was a strange thing to do as it was raining in Mangaluru on Monday.
“The dog squad was used and it stopped in the middle of the Netravati bridge. Boats , swimmers and local fishermen are being used to search in the river below,” says Sandeep Patil. The police are also checking who were the people Siddhartha spoke to last and in fact, all through Monday while he was driving towards Mangaluru.
It is a huge search operation being undertaken on Tuesday at the bridge. Apart from Mangaluru police teams, teams from Chikkamagulur, NDRF and fire services are also involved in the operations. Some of Siddhartha’s friends too have come in to Mangaluru, concerned that he has been missing for over 12 hours now.
Chief minister BS Yediyurappa has sought the Defence ministry’s help and asked for Navy divers to be deployed in the search operation.
Siddhartha owns the Cafe Coffee Day chain and is former Karnataka CM SM Krishna’s son-in-law.