It is touching to see the coverage of the Rs 11,400 crore Nirav Modi scandal in Bangalore newspapers, as if it were some “international” story, taking place in faraway countries called Bombay and Delhi.
Whereas one of the villains of the piece is a homegrown Kannadiga.
And whereas, the hero of the story—the whistleblower who alerted the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO)—is a Bangalorean.
Only Vijaya Karnataka, the Kannada daily from The Times of India group, makes an effort to track down the villain Gokul Shetty, by putting a face to him.
It says Shetty hails from Mulki in Dakshina Kannada district, where he studied in Vijaya College before going to Sydenham College of Economics in Bombay.
He was the deputy manager at the foreign exchange department at Punjab National Bank’s Brady House branch in Bombay, the ground zero of the scam.
Shetty, along with his colleague Manoj Hanumant Kharat, issued eight fraudulent letters of understanding (LoUs) of over Rs 200 crore to two companies linked to Nirav Modi: Diamonds R Us and Solar Exports.
The identity of the hero of the #PNBScam, the Bangalore whistle-blower who alerted prime minister Narendra Modi’s office remains a mystery, aside from his name: Hari Prasad S.V..
The Telegraph reports that Hari Prasad was a franchisee in Bangalore of Gitanjali Gems, which is owned by Nirav Modi’s uncle Mehul Choksi.
He wrote to PMO in July 2016 that fraudulent activities worth crores of rupees were taking place. PMO acknowledges receipt of the letter.
So, who is Hari Prasad?
A bit of on-line searching throws up only one Hari Prasad with a jewellery link.
The gentleman in the picture (above), who is listed on LinkedIn as the CEO and managing director of the MeVa group.
The group’s companies MeVa Real estate ventures and MeVa Jewelers.
And, surprise surprise, a Jewelsouk in V.V. Puram reveals that it is joint venture between Gitanjali and MeVa, and in fact located in MeVa Plaza.
So, is this the Hari Prasad who is the hero of the #NiravModi story, the whistleblower who has put Narendra Modi in a spot for his inaction?