The Tamil Nadu Police, who on Sunday arrested from New Delhi two persons who were allegedly involved in a robbery in late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa’s Kodanadu estate in the Nilgiris and had accused the incumbent CM Edappadi Palaniswamy of having links with the break at the estate in April 2017, reportedly brought them to Chennai today.
The two — Manoj and Sayan, both residents of Kerala — were picked up by a police team in plain clothes from a coffee shop in Dwarka area in south-west Delhi and were taken to Tamil Nadu.
Palaniswami has already rejected the allegations made against him by those accused, made in a video released by Delhi-based journalist and former Tehelha managing editor Samuel Mathew last week.
In April 2017, the security guard of the Kodanad estate, the late Jayalalithaa’s retreat home in the hilly district of the Nilgiris, was found dead. It emerged during the probe that Jayalalithaa’s former driver C Kanagaraj and Sayan had allegedly plotted the crime. A total of 10 people had been arrested in the case, with a charge sheet also being filed later.
However, Kanagaraj and Sayan’s wife and daughter were killed in separate road accidents during the probe, even as another employee of the property was found dead, in a case of suspected suicide.
DMK President MK Stalin had said on Sunday that he plans to meet state Governor Banwarilal Purohit over the issue on Monday.
In the 16-minute video released in New Delhi, Sayan and Manoj had claimed that key conspirator Kanakaraj (since dead) had told them about his proximity to Palaniswami. However, the Chief Minister dismissed the allegations as baseless and said strong action would be taken against those behind the making of the video.
Parrying questions on the contents of the First Information Report, a senior officer of the Chennai Police said that preliminary investigation had revealed that the people involved in the making of the video tried to establish contact with some sources to “negotiate” a deal.
Refusing to elaborate the details of the negotiation or nature of the alleged deal, the officer said more information would be known only after the arrest of all the persons in the “conspiracy”.
Mathew had screened a 16-minute video on Friday about the Kodanadu theft and the events that happened after that. He had recorded the testimonies of Sayan and ‘Walayar’ Manoj. The two had claimed on video and later in a press meet that Kanakaraj (Jayalalithaa’s former driver) had told them that he had been instructed by Edappadi Palanisamy to retrieve Rs 2,000 crore money and important documents.