TN Police team grills Sasikala in Kodanad murder-heist case

A special team of the Tamil Nadu Police is questioning the AIADMK’s former interim General Secretary, V.K. Sasikala in the Kodanad murder and heist case, officials said on on Thursday.

The former AIADMK leader is being questioned as part of the investigation into the murder and heist at the 906-acre Kodanad estate on April 24, 2017, immediately after her arrest and subsequent jailing in the disproportionate asset case.

The estate is jointly owned by Sasikala and the late Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa.

The team is being led by Inspector General of West Zone, R. Sudhakar. The other officers include Superintendent of Police, Nilgiris district, Ashish Rawat and ADSP Krishnamoorthy.

Sources told IANS that the former interim general secretary was cooperating with the probe.

A charge sheet has been filed in which C. Kanagaraj, who was once the driver of Jayalalithaa, hatched a conspiracy to break open the Kodanad estate as they believed that a huge amount of money was stashed in the estate bungalow.

On April 23, 2017, a gang of 10 people broke into the estate led by Kanakaraj broke into the estate and killed a guard, Om Bahadhur while another guard Krishna Thapa was beaten and tied.

Police sources said that Kanagaraj had convinced another accused Stayan that an amount of Rs 200 crore was stashed in the estate bungalow but the burglars could get only 10 watches and a crystal replica of rhinoceros worth Rs 42,000.

Five days after the Kodanad estate heist, Kanagaraj, the main accused was killed in a road accident on the Salem-Chennai highway in Attur.

Another accused Sayan from Kerala also met with an accident on the same day but he escaped with injuries while his wife and daughter got killed. Sayan was the second accused in the case.

In July 3, 2017, the computer operator of the Kodanad estate, Dinesh Kumar was found dead in his home leading to five deaths altogether.

Police filed the 300-page charge sheet in September 2017 against 11 people out of which only Kanagaraj was from Tamil Nadu, the rest were from Kerala.

The second accused Sayan and another accused Manoj had given an interview to a journalist stating that the then Chief Minister, K. Palaniswami had ordered the break-in of the Kodanad estate to search some important documents.

Three of the accused also moved to court seeking the interrogation of EPS, Sasikala, the then Nilgiris collector, and then district police chief.

Sources in Tamil Nadu Police told IANS that more people could be questioned in the days to come and that the investigation will not end with Sasikala.

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