The body of VG Siddhartha, the billionaire coffee tycoon, was cremated at his estate in his home district of Chikmagalur. Hundreds of people bade him a tearful adieu. His body was found out of a river two days after his news of missing.
In the midst of a gloomy atmosphere, his son Amartya lit the funeral pyre following the ultimate rites were performed. All the rituals were performed as per the Vokkaliga community from which he hailed.
SM Krishna, the father-in-law of Siddhartha and his wife Prema present there could not control their emotions. His 96-year-old father Gangaiah Hegde could not believe that his beloved son had passed away.
The 59-year-old Siddhartha, the owner of Cafe Coffee Day, changed a lifestyle beverage by coffee. He made a fusion of latte, cappuccino, Americano and espresso into urban Indian lexicon.
Two days after he went on missing, on Wednesday, his body was discovered by local fishermen and patrolling policemen on the banks of Nethravathi river near Mangaluru. A letter was written by him also came forward in which he wrote to the Board of Directors about his struggle with the financial crisis and his problems due to debt.
Several agencies unitedly conducted the search operations in the waters under a bridge across Nethravathi, where Siddhartha was seen reportedly on Monday night. His body was kept at Chikkamagalur before taking Chenthanahalli so that the people pay their last respects.
The funeral was attended several other leaders including Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, his predecessor HD Kumaraswamy. “We have found the body. I have no words to comfort the family,” Yediyurappa said. “He had more assets than liabilities.”
Former Karnataka Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah said Siddhartha’s death is both “disturbing and mysterious”.
“The reasons and the invisible hands that ended his life in this tragic way should be unearthed through impartial & fair investigation”, Siddaramaiah said, referring to a letter purportedly written by Siddhartha in which he alleged harassment by the Income Tax department. The investigation is going on in the case.