Two Ko­danad heist sus­pects ar­rested in video re­lease case

Sayan, Manoj had sought to link T.N. CM with the break-in

The Hindu - - FRONT PAGE - S. Vi­jay Ku­mar

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.

The two sus­pects who were ar­rested by the Nil­giris po­lice for the break-in came out on bail sub­se­quently.

Kanakaraj, who had served as a driver in Poes Gar­den and was the prime sus­pect in the heist, was killed in an ac­ci­dent at Salem.

In the break-in in 2017, Om Ba­hadur, a se­cu­rity guard was hacked to death.

An of­fi­cer said pre­lim­i­nary in­ves­ti­ga­tion had re­vealed that the peo­ple in­volved in the mak­ing of the video tried to es­tab­lish con­tact with some sources to “ne­go­ti­ate” a deal.

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