MK Stalin seeks court-monitored probe into Kodanad deaths

DMK chief stoutly defends holding of gram sabha meets.

CHENNAI: Taking strong exception to Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami being “evasive” on the charges levelled against him by Tehelka’s ex-editor Samuel Mathew, DMK president M. K. Stalin on Sunday demanded that the Centre constitute a special commission of enquiry under the direct supervision of Madras High Court, to probe the murders and dacoity at Kodanad estate. He also sought the resignation of the Chief Minister.

Seeking to know why the CM maintained ‘silence’ on several issues including the five deaths at the estate and also whether the CCTVs are functioning are not, Mr. Stalin asked, “Without replying to anything he says it’s a political conspiracy. Is he prepared to step down if the charges against him are proved? Will he order a judicial probe?”

A series of murders and theft took place in Kodanad estate in the tourist haven of Nilgiris in the State in 2017. Suitcases containing documents of late Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa’s property worth crores of rupees were allegedly stolen. The security guard of the Kodanad estate was found dead. It was later known that Jayalalithaa’s former driver C. Kanagaraj and K. V. Sayan had allegedly planned the crime. A total of 10 people have been arrested in the case. Kanagaraj and Sayan’s wife and daughter were killed in separate road accidents during the probe. Another employee of the property was found dead in a case of suspected suicide. Jayalalithaa passed away in 2016.

Immediately after allegations on his involvement surfaced, Mr. Palaniswamy rubbished the allegations and warned of action against those conspiring to besmirch his image.

“There are some allegations that have been made against me in a documentary made by former Tehelka editor on the Kodanad death and dacoity. There are no facts in it and it is politically motivated and serious action will be taken against the media organisation and those behind this fake news,” the CM told reporters on Saturday.

Speaking to reporters at Anna Arivalayam - DMK headquarters here Mr. Stalin demanded the resignation of Mr. Palaniswami and protection to the journalist who made the documents public on Friday.

The DMK, he said, has sought an appointment with Governor Banwarilal Purohit and with President Ram Nath Kovind to apprise them of the issue.

The Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly threatened to take the issue to the courts if a proper team was not constituted to investigate the allegations.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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