Cafe Coffee Day founder VG Siddhartha has gone missing on his way to Managaluru and not been seen since Monday evening, news reports said.
His family informed of the police of his disappearance after Siddhartha’s driver told them he was missing, News18 said.
Police told the Hindustan Times that they have launched a statewide search for the businessman at his family’s request.
Siddhartha, 58, is married to the daughter of BJP leader and former Karnataka CM SM Krishna.
The Coast Guard is searching the Netravati river with its diving teams and a hovercraft.
Siddhartha’s driver told the police that they had left for Mangaluru from Bengaluru on Monday night. “They were crossing National Highway 66 and the driver was asked to stop the car at the bridge over Netravati River in Ullal. He was talking on his mobile phone when he asked his driver to stop the car and is said to have walked away from the car. He told his driver he would be back soon and that was the last time his driver saw him,” Mangaluru Commissioner Sandeep Patil told The NewsMinute.
Patil told ANI that the police are checking with all the people Siddhartha spoke to last.
More than 200 policemen and divers on about 25 boats were carrying out searches for him, PTI reported.
The deputy commissioner said that sniffer dogs have also been pressed into service.
Congress MLA UT Khader, who reached the spot, told local news channels that the police were looking into “all angles”. “The search is on,” he said.
In Bengaluru, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa visited SM Krishna’s residence and held discussion with the family members. Senior Congress leader DK Shivakumar also visited Krishna’s residence, PTI reported.
Siddhartha started the first Cafe Coffee Day in 1996 on Bengaluru’s Briagade Road. According to IB Times, it is India’s biggest cafe chain with 1,750 outlets across the country.
According to Economic Times, the entrepreneur was in talks with Coca Cola to sell them a stake in his enterprise.