A metropolitan magistrate in Egmore on Thursday granted bail to K V Sayan and “Valayar”Manoj, two who were arrested by the Tamil Nadu police after they alleged that they burgled the Kodanad estate bungalow of late Chief Minister J Jayalalitha in April 2017 at the behest of current incumbent Edapppadi K Palanisami.
Magistrate Saritha, who refused to remand the two to custody when they were produced before her court and later at her residence two days ago after rejecting the case that the allegation against the Chief Minister would promote enmity between groups, granted bail when they appeared in her court on Thursday morning as directed and executed bail bonds and produced sureties for like amount of Rs 10,000 each.
She also directed the two to furnish bank details by Monday.
The Tamil Nadu special crime branch police arrested the two in New Delhi on the basis of a complaint made by AIADMK IT cell secretary Kovai Sathya after Tehelka former editor Samuel Mathews released a video in which he quoted the two as saying that they broke into Jayalalitha’s bungalow to get at some secret documents on the orders of Palanisami. They had no direct information about it and they said they learnt it from Jayalalitha’s former driver Kanakaraj.
The AIADMK has rubbished the charge, with Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar saying that the two against whom criminal cases are pending have relied on Kanakaraj, who died in a car accident after the burglary, secure in the belief that the dead man will tell no tale.
The DMK chief M K Stalin has demanded an independent investigation and even petitioned the Governor. With the two out on bail, Palanisami once again said he had nothing to do with the Kodanad incidents and charged that the DMK was behind the so-called expose by former Tehelka journalist Mathews.
He asked how he could be held responsible for the death of Sayan’s wife and daughter in a car accident near Palakkad a day after the burglary, However, he did not say anything about the death of Kanakaraj in a another accident in Athur near Salam hours after the burglary when the motorcycle he was riding was knocked down by a Bengaluru registered car on the highway.
The Chief Minister also said that a murder case was pending against Manoj in Kerala.
He also said that after the death of Jayalalitha in December 2016, her Kodanad estate came under control of her former aide Sasikala and her nephew T T V Dinakaran . If he was in any way involved in the break-in, would Sasikala have kept quiet, he asked.
Curiously, the burglary took place in April 2017, that is two months after Edappadi Palanisami became Chief Minister with the support of 122 MLAs who were then supporting Sasikala.