New Delhi, Dec 30 (PTI) Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Wednesday called for a high-level probe by an independent agency into the death of Karnataka Legislative Council Deputy Chairman S L Dharme Gowda.

Gowda, 64, was found dead on rail tracks in Chikkamagaluru district of Karnataka in the early hours of Tuesday, with police sources claiming that it was a case of suicide. He was a JD(S) MLC.

He was at the centre of a high drama on December 15 in the legislative council, which saw BJP, JD(S) and Congress members hurling abuses and pushing each other over a row on a no-confidence motion against Chairman K Pratapachandra Shetty.

During the ruckus, Gowda was pulled down from the Chair by some Congress legislators, who accused him of occupying it as deputy chairman against rules, as part of the BJP's plan to unseat Shetty, who is from the Congress.

Referring to the incident, Birla said, "The unfortunate incident in the House, when he was in Chair, is a serious attack on democracy. It is necessary to have a high-level probe through an independent agency into his death." According to an official statement, the Lok Sabha Speaker said, "It is the duty of all of us to safeguard the prestige of legislative bodies and dignity and freedom of presiding officers."