Referring to former Tehelka editor Samuel Mathew releasing a video in Delhi on Friday, in which the accused allegedly linked him to the break-in, Palaniswami denied his involvement.
The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) Joint Coordinator further said that a police case had been filed in the matter and that “strong action” would be taken against those who released the video. He suspected a “political” motive behind the matter, even as the opposition DMK demanded that he step down to facilitate a ‘fair’ probe.
“Yesterday (Friday), former Tehelka editor Samuel Mathews had released a video which links me to an incident (break-in) that happened in Amma’s Kodanad estate on April 24, 2017. This (charge) is completely contrary to facts and there is no iota of truth in it,” he said.
Making a statement before the media here, Palaniswami said the probe who reveal who was behind the incident, even as he charged that it was an attempt to “malign Amma”, referring to late chief minister J Jayalalithaa.
In April 2017, the security guard of the Kodanad estate, 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 K V 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.
On Saturday, Palaniswami said the accused people, some of whom reportedly spoke in the video, had appeared in court 22 times in connection with the case so far, and questioned why they did not share the same in the court.
“They are saying such new things in an attempt to divert the case,”he said,adding that some of them were already facing other cases, including under POCSO, besides robbery. He also denied Jayalalithaa had stored documents received from party functionaries in the estate as purportedly claimed by them in the video on Saturday, saying she never obtained any such papers.
“Those unable to take us on politically are resorting to such cheap cowardice,” he said and asserted that a probe would reveal those doing so.
“I believe there is a political motive. So a case has been filed and only it will reveal the truth. The truth will emerge,” he said.
Responding to the developments, the DMK demanded that Palaniswami step down to ensure a ‘fair’ probe, since the police comes under the Home portfolio held by him. “In order to ensure a fair investigation, the chief minister should first step aside, or at least part with the Home portfolio,” DMK propaganda secretary and former telecom minister A Raja said.
Speaking to reporters, he said the party could seek a CBI probe later, if required. He claimed that there was lack of police presence on the night the guard at the estate was killed and that power was snapped, despite the presence of a dedicated power line. The CCTVs were also not working, he claimed, adding, “all these create suspicion.”
Meanwhile, Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam founder T T V Dhinakaran called for a court monitored probe into the entire case. The CPI (M) state unit demanded that the Kodanad guard murder and break-in probe be transferred to the CBI, while MDMK founder Vaiko wanted the chief minister to step down following the accusations against him.
| Edited by: Debdeep Mukherjee