2 ar­rested in Delhi for drag­ging TN CM in Ko­danad mur­der case

The Free Press Journal - - NATION -

Two days af­ter for­mer Te­helka jour­nal­ist Mathew Sa­muel, at a press con­fer­ence in New Delhi, sought to link Tamil Nadu Chief Min­is­ter Edap­padi K Palaniswami in the sen­sa­tional mur­der-cum-break-in at late AIADMK leader Jay­alalithaa's Ko­danad Es­tate in Nil­giris, the Chen­nai po­lice on Sun­day ar­rested two ac­cused Sayan and Vala­yar Manoj, who dragged Palaniswami's name.

In April 2017, a se­cu­rity guard posted out­side Jay­alalithaa's vast Ko­danad Es­tate bun­ga­low was mur­dered and a gang of bur­glars had bro­ken into the house and es­caped with some booty. Soon af­ter this, it came to light that the gang was led by Kanakaraj, who had served as driver to Jay­alalithaa and her aide V K Sasikala in the past. Ex­cept him, the rest of the gang mem­bers were from Ker­ala.

How­ever, within days Kanakaraj was killed in an ac­ci­dent in Tamil Nadu. A day af­ter his death, a ve­hi­cle in which Sayan, one of the main ac­cused in the case, was trav­el­ling met with an ac­ci­dent and he was griev­ously in­jured while his wife and daugh­ter were killed. Few months later, a young man who was op­er­at­ing the CCTV cam­eras in Ko­danad Es­tate had ended his life.

On Fri­day, Mathew claimed to have in­ves­ti­gated the in­ci­dent and on the ba­sis of what Sayan and Manoj said. He sought to link the Tamil Nadu Chief Min­is­ter to the mur­der, break-in and sub­se­quent ac­ci­dents.

Fol­low­ing this, an AIADM IT wing func­tionary lodged a com­plaint with the po­lice ac­cus­ing Mathew and the two ac­cused of de­lib­er­ately de­fam­ing the Chief Min­is­ter. The po­lice booked them on charges of “pro­mot­ing en­mity be­tween dif­fer­ent groups and do­ing acts prej­u­di­cial to main­te­nance of har­mony”.

A spe­cial po­lice team on Sun­day ar­rested Sayan and Manoj in Delhi. Mathew in a video claimed that some men in plain­clothes forcibly took them away and also in a Face­book post said he stood by his story.

Mean­while, DMK leader M K Stalin de­manded a Spe­cial In­ves­ti­ga­tion Team to probe the charges against the Chief Min­is­ter. He said the DMK would move the court if no ac­tion is taken on his plea. He also sought pro­tec­tion for Mathew, Sayan and Manoj.

Palaniswami had al­ready called the charges base­less.

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