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Stalin demands SIT inquiry into Kodanad estate break-in

Says DMK will make representations to President, Governor


DMK president M.K. Stalin on Sunday said his party would make representations to President Ram Nath Kovind and Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit, seeking a probe by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) into the murder and break-in at former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s Kodanad Estate bungalow in 2017 and the subsequent “mysterious” deaths of key suspects in the case.

Referring to claims by former Tehelka journalist Samuel Mathew and two of the accused in the Kodanad case that Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami had a role in the break-in at the bungalow, the murder of security guard Rao Bahadur and the death of key suspect Kanagaraj (Jayalalithaa’s former driver), Mr. Stalin said they warranted a SIT probe.

“We have sought an appointment with the Governor tomorrow (Monday), and if he agrees to meet us, we will explain everything to him. If no action is taken, we will approach the court,” he told reporters at Anna Arivalayam.

Mr. Stalin said that the Kodanad Estate’s CCTV operator, Dinesh kumar, had committed suicide, and the wife and daughter of Sayan, who was allegedly directed by Kanagaraj to “steal money” from the estate, were killed in an accident.

‘Mystery behind deaths’

“There is a mystery behind these deaths. We will certainly be happy if the Chief Minister is proven innocent after a probe,” he said, recalling the claims made by Mr. Mathew, Sayan and Manoj, another accused, at a press conference in New Delhi on Friday.

Demanding security cover for Mr. Mathew, Sayan and others, the DMK leader said the SIT probe should be monitored by the Madras High Court, and that Mr. Palaniswami should immediately resign from his post.

“The probe is not just against Mr. Palaniswami. His Cabinet colleagues and [Jayalalithaa’s jailed aide] Sasikala's family members should also be subjected to an inquiry. Whatever happened to the ₹2,000 crore taken from Kodanad should be explained to the people,” he said.

Recalling the CM’s interaction with the media on the subject, Mr. Stalin said Mr. Palaniswami had not denied knowledge of Kanagaraj and Sayan and the ₹2,000 crore (which is claimed to have been looted). “His face turned black and he was not able to answer Mr. Mathew’s allegations. He also did not say that Kanagaraj and the wife and daughter of Sayan had died in a road accident. He also did not deny the suicide of Dineshkumar,” the DMK president claimed.