Sasikala to be grilled in Kodanad murder and heist case

Chennai, April 20 (IANS) A special team of the Tamil Nadu Police will be questioning AIADMK’s former interim General Secretary, V.K. Sasikala in the Kodanad murder and heist case on Thursday, officials said.
The 906-acre estate was jointly owned by late Chief Minister and AIADMK chief J. Jayalalithaa and her aide Sasikala, and the murder and heist case took place on April 24, 2017, four months after the passing away of J. Jayalalithaa and the arrest of Sasikala.
According to the charge sheet, C. Kanagaraj, who was once the driver of Jayalalithaa, hatched a conspiracy to break open the Kodanad estate as he believed that huge money was stashed in the estate bungalow. On April 23, 2017, a gang of ten people, led by him, broke into the estate and killed 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 ten watches and a crystal replica of rhinoceros worth Rs 42,000.
Five days after the Kodanad estate heist, Kanagaraj 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.
In July 3, 2017, Dinesh Kumar, a computer operator at the estate, was found dead in his home leading to five deaths altogether.
Police filed a 300-page charge sheet in September 2017 against 11 people out of which only Kanagaraj was from Tamil Nadu, and the rest were from Kerala.
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 at the Kodanad estate to search some important documents.
Three of the accused also moved court seeking the interrogation of Palaniswami, Sasikala, the then Nilgiris Collector, and then district police chief.
AIADMK and Palaniswami had reacted strongly, accusing the DMK government of using police to settle scores.
With Sasikala’s interrogation slated for Thursday, the AIADMK camp is in jitters and the possibility of Palaniswami being called for quizzing by the sleuths is on high.

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