A special team of Tamil Nadu Police, which is investigating the Kodanad estate murder and heist case, questioned late Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa’s driver Kannan for several hours on Tuesday and Wednesday, sources in the police told IANS.
While working for Jayalalithaa as her driver, Kannan had access to the Kodanad summer bungalow and estate owned by the former Chief Minister and her aide, V.K. Sasikala.
It may be noted that after the death of Jayalalithaa in December 2016 and the arrest of Sasikala in February 2017, a group of men had barged into the Kodanad estate bungalow on the intervening night of April 23-24. During the dacoity, a guard at the estate, Om Bahadhur, was killed while the other guard, Krishna Thapa, was grievously injured.
According to the police, the conspiracy to loot the Kodanad estate bungalow was hatched by another driver of the late Chief Minister, Kanagaraj. He made his accomplices believe that money to the tune of crores of rupees was parked at the estate bungalow.
Five days after the dacoity at the bungalow, Kanagaraj was run over by a moving vehicle on the Salem-Chennai highway while he was riding a two-wheeler.
Another accomplice in the heist, K.V. Sayan, who was at his native place in Palakkad, met with an accident on the same day when a truck rammed into the car he was driving. While Sayan escaped unhurt, his wife and daughter died on the spot.
A few months after the heist, the computer operator of the Kodanad estate, Dileep Kumar, committed suicide at his residence.
The probe into the Kodanad estate heist and murder was opened again after the DMK government assumed office and constituted a special investigation team.
DMK President M.K. Stalin during the campaign for the 2021 Assembly elections had said that if DMK was elected to power, his government would conduct a fresh investigation, and true to his words, the DMK constituted a special investigation team after Stalin became the Chief Minister in May 2021.