A special police team from Tamil Nadu on Sunday rushed to New Delhi to arrest former Tehelka editor Samuel Mathews after he alleged that the burglary in late Chief Minister J Jayalalitha’s Kodanad estate was masterminded by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palanisami.
Another team rushed to Kerala to nab Sayan, one of the two involved in the break-in along with Jayalalitha’s car driver Kanakaraj. The swift action followed a complaint lodged by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palanisami who has asserted that he had nothing to do with the incidents in Kodanad which claimed five lives and that there was a political conspiracy against him.
Mathews at a press meet in New Delhi on Friday released a video with the recorded statement of Sayan and co-accused Manoj, claiming that Kanakaraj acted at the behest of Palanisami to get at some dossiers kept in the bungalow by Jayalalitha on Ministers and other top AIADMK leaders.
The police wanted to nab the three on Sunday itself to pre-empt Mathews or Sayan from moving court to get anticipatory bail.
Even so, they have to be produced before a local magistrate in New Delhi to get transit remand in order to bring them to Chennai. Police cannot take the magistrate’s order for granted as it had a bitter experience when a magistrate in Chennai refused to remand Nakkeran editor R R Gopal last October when they slapped sedition charge against him for publishing an article allegedly defamatory against Governor Banwarilal Purohit.
As Mathews is also a journalist, he is sure to cite the precedent of Gopal. Another police team is reported to have gone to Kerala to nab Sayan, one of the main accused in the case who survived a major car crash near Palakkad a day after the burgalary, an accident which killed his wife and five-year-old daughter a day after the break-in
Though Sayan was with Mathew in the press conference in Delhi on Friday, police suspect he may have since gone back to his native Palakkkad.
A Nepali watchman Kim Bahadur Thapa was killed in the burglary which took place on April 23, 2017, four months after the passing of Jayalalitha.
Kanakaraj himself was fatally knocked down by a Bengaluru-registered car on the Salem highway near Athur barely hours after the break-in.
Adding to the mystery was the death of CCTV operator of the estate Dinesh Kumar.