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Kodanad murder: Nilgiris police in Kerala, Palaniswami not happy

The team left for Kerala on Tuesday and is conducting investigations in the neighbouring state as some of the accused who are out on bail are in Kerala.

IANS | Chennai |

A team of police officers from Niligirs have reached Kerala to issue summons to suspects and witnesses in the Kodanad estate murder and heist case.

The team left for Kerala on Tuesday and is conducting investigations in the neighbouring state as some of the accused who are out on bail are in Kerala.

Senior police officers, including IG West Zone, R. Sudhakar, DIG Muthuswamny, and Nilgiris Superintendent of Police, Ashish Rawat has revived the progress report of the case.

The prosecution case was that a group of people barged into the Kodanad summer estate on April 24, 2017, and murdered a watchman, Om Bahadhur, and injured another watchman, Krishna Bahadhur. The robbers stole 5 watches and a crystal idol from the estate bungalow.

The DMK government which came to power in 2021 reopened the case which has high political links as the estate was owned jointly by the late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, J. Jayalalithaa and her close aide V.K.Sasikala.

The AIADMK strongly suspects that the move of the government is to implicate former Chief Minister and senior leader of the party, K. Palaniswami in the case.

The 10 accused in the case were arrested and later released on bail except for the driver of the late chief minister, Kanagaraj, who died in a road accident.

Police officers in Nilgiris told IANS that many of the suspects are from Kerala. When asked about the details of these suspects, police remained tight-lipped.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed the Tamil Nadu police to conduct reinvestigation in the Kodanad murder and heist case. The apex court refused to entertain a plea seeking a stay on further investigation. The court said, “We cannot interfere in the investigation of the Tamil Nadu police and let the truth come out ultimately.”

The plea which was filed by the prosecution witness and AIADMK member, Anubhav Ravi, said that he was being threatened by the Tamil Nadu police to depose a favourable witness statement.

In the plea, Ravi asked the court as to why the case was being reinvestigated after a charge sheet has already been submitted and he has been examined.

This is being seen as a major blow to the AIADMK and the former Chief Minister. Palniswami has alleged that the DMK government under Stalin was trying to implicate him in the case.

The Special Investigation Team is also likely to investigate the road accident that took place on April 29, 2017, at Kannadi in Palakkad district of Kerala, in which the main accused K.P. Sayan’s family including his wife and son died and he had escaped with injuries.

The Kodanad murder and heist case is turning into a major political confabulation between the DMK and AIADMK with Chief Minister M.K. Stalin telling the assembly that the DMK and the government are not acting with a vengeance or vendetta.

He said that the truth has to come out and the DMK had promised the people of Tamil Nadu that a proper investigation would be carried out in the Kodanad murder and heist case once it came back to power.

Interestingly the case will have its ramifications in the AIADMK also as there is a possibility of the section close to former Deputy Chief Minister, O.Panneerselvam trying to take over the party if something negative comes out against Palaniswami in the investigation.