‘Da­coity sus­pects were in­ter­cepted as they fled’

No valu­ables or doc­u­ments were found in their ve­hi­cles, says ex-Nil­giris SP

The Hindu - - TAMIL NADU - S. Vi­jay Ku­mar

The sus­pects who broke into the sprawl­ing Ko­danad es­tate of for­mer Chief Min­is­ter Jay­alalithaa on April 23, 2017 were in­ter­cepted by the Gu­dalur po­lice as they fled from the crime scene. There were was no valu­ables, stor­age de­vices or doc­u­ments in their ve­hi­cle, Mu­rali Rambha, who was then Su­per­in­ten­dent of Po­lice, Nil­giris, said on Sun­day.

Talk­ing to The Hindu, Mr. Rambha, now Thoothukudi SP, said the sus­pects, who came in two ve­hi­cles with Ker­ala reg­is­tra­tion num­bers, were found to be in pos­ses­sion of a glass show­piece and watches. “They were in­ter­cepted within a cou­ple of hours. The Gu­dalur po­lice even de­tained them on sus­pi­cion. How­ever, they were al­lowed to go af­ter some lo­cals iden­ti­fied them and vouched for their good an­tecedents. Another ve­hi­cle, which went on the Coim­bat­ore side, was searched at a po­lice check­post near Kotha­giri,” he said.

Road ac­ci­dent case

A day af­ter the da­coity, Mr. Rambha said he re­ceived the im­ages of the glass show­piece and the watches on his mo­bile phone.

The show­piece ap­peared to be sim­i­lar to another one in the bun­ga­low. En­quiries re­vealed that a Chen­naibased busi­ness­man had gifted the show­pieces to Jay­alalithaa.

“Af­ter it be­came clear that the gang that was in­ter­cepted by the Gu­dalur po­lice was the one in­volved in the da­coity, we fol­lowed spe­cific leads and ar­rested them. The stolen prop­erty was re­cov­ered. The ac­cused said that they broke into the es­tate hop­ing to find huge cash or gold...they didn’t want to kill the se­cu­rity guard but only at­tempted to si­lence him,” he said.

Rul­ing out foul play in the death of the prime sus­pect, Kana­garaj, in a road ac­ci­dent, Mr. Rambha said though the in­ci­dent took place in the At­tur po­lice sta­tion lim­its in Salem, he went there to in­spect the scene and make en­quiries. “Kana­garaj came on a mo­tor­cy­cle on the wrong lane and col­lided head-on with a ve­hi­cle that came from the op­po­site di­rec­tion from Ben­galuru. The driver of the other ve­hi­cle had no con­nec­tion with any per­son in T.N. that could be con­strued as sus­pi­cious...we even pe­rused his mo­bile calls be­fore and af­ter the ac­ci­dent,” he said.

Kana­garaj, who worked as a car driver for Jay­alalithaa’s aide V.K. Sasikala, was ter­mi­nated from ser­vice in 2013 and re­mained job­less there­after. How­ever, he main­tained con­tacts with some peo­ple work­ing in the es­tate. He had con­spired with Sayan to break into the bun­ga­low and steal valu­ables, Mr. Rambha said.

Af­ter re­al­is­ing that the se­cu­rity guard had died of suf­fo­ca­tion, the duo es­caped to Andhra Pradesh and stayed at a lodge in Kadapa dis­trict. “We ex­am­ined the CCTV footage in the ho­tel and iden­ti­fied them. Af­ter a few days, they re­turned to Tamil Nadu,” he said.

They were al­lowed to go af­ter some lo­cals iden­ti­fied them and vouched for their good an­tecedents

Mu­rali Rambha

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