Sasikala’s nephew quizzed in Kodanad heist and murder case

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In a major development in the Kodanad murder and heist case of April 2017, V.K. Sasikala’s nephew and Managing Director of Jaya news channel Vivek Jayaraman has been quizzed by the Nilgiris police, sources said on Thursday.

The DMK government had reopened the case.

He was questioned on Wednesday by a special police team from 1.40 p.m. till 5 p.m. in presence of his advocate.

This is the first time, a person close to Sasikala’s family is being questioned in the case. Highly placed sources in Nilgiris police told IANS that Vivek Jayaraman was questioned after the manager of Kodanad estate Natarajan during his questioning had said that Vivek was looking after the affairs of the estate since the incident of heist and murder.

Kodanad estate, a 900-acre property in the Nilgiris district, belonged to late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa and her aide V.K. Sasikala. This was the summer home of the former Chief Minister.

On April 23, 2017, after the passing away of Jayalalithaa and Sasikala behind the bars at Bengaluru in a disproportionate asset case, robbers barged into the estate bungalow and murdered a security guard Om Bahadhur and grievously injured another, Krishna Thapa.

The prosecution case was that a group of people led by the former driver of Jayalalithaa, C . Kanagaraj, along with 11 other men, entered the bungalow on April 23, 2017 at 10.30 pm and attacked the security guards in which Krishna Thapa was injured and Om Bahadhur killed.

It was alleged that Kanagaraj had told another gang member K.V. Sayan from Kerala that Rs 200 crore was stashed in the estate bungalow but the gang could get only 10 expensive watches and a crystal rhino that was worth Rs 42,000.

Five days after the heist, Kanagaraj who hails from former Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami’s village, died in an accident. The same day, a lorry rammed into the car in which K.V. Sayan and his family were travelling at Palakkad in Kerala killing his wife and daughter while Sayan escaped with minor injuries.

The Computer operator of the estate, Dhinesh Kumar was found hanging at his residence on July 3, 2017 months after the heist and murder at the Kodanad bungalow.

After the DMK government assumed office, the case was reopened and 81 people were quizzed and three accused, Deepu, Santhosh Swami and M.S. Satheeshan had filed a petition before the Madras High Court to question Sasikala in the case.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin, had during the run-up to the 2021 Assembly elections publicly stated that the Kodanad estate case would be reopened and the real perpetrators of the crime booked.

The AIADMK had after the case being reopened retorted that the DMK government was trying to settle scores with the party using the Kodanad estate case and was trying to frame former Chief Minister, Edappadi K Palaniswami in the case.

20211223-110204

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