Two Kodanad heist suspects arrested in video release case
Sayan, Manoj had sought to link T.N. CM with the break-in
K.V. Sayan and Valayar Manoj — two suspects in the 2017 dacoity and murder at former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s estate in Kodanad — who in a video conversation with journalist Mathew Samuel sought to link Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami with the break-in at the estate, were arrested by a special team of the Chennai police in New Delhi on Sunday.
The video was released at a press conference addressed by Mr. Samuel and the two suspects in Delhi on Friday last.
The Central Crime Branch of the Chennai police had registered a case against Mr. Samuel and others on charges of “promoting enmity between different groups” and “doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony” on a complaint lodged by the ruling AIADMK’s Information Technology wing.
Scribe sticks to report
The police have also accused the journalist of “publishing and circulating a rumour with intent to cause, or which is likely to cause, fear or alarm to the public, or to any section of the public whereby any person may be induced to commit an offence against the State or against the public tranquillity.”
Mr. Mathew in a Facebook post on Sunday said he stood by his report.
Soon after the arrest, Mr. Samuel in a video message circulated on WhatsApp claimed that the police came to Sector-9 in Dwaraka and forced Sayan and Manoj into a private vehicle with a police sticker. “They were kidnapped,” he claimed.
In the 16-minute video released in New Delhi, Sayan and Manoj had claimed that key conspirator Kanakaraj (since dead) had told them about his proximity to Mr. Palaniswami. However, the Chief Minister dismissed the allegations as baseless and said strong action would be taken against those behind the making of the video.