Kodanadu row rocks Assembly, AIADMK members stage protest

Chennai: The Kodanadu heist and murder case of 2017 today triggered heat in the Tamilnadu Assembly culminating in the walk out by the main opposition AIADMK members, who later staged a protest leading to their eviction from the House.

Protesting this, the AIADMK announced that they would boycott the house proceedings for two days–today and tomorrow. Soon after the House assembled for the day, the AIADMK members raised the issue seeking an explanation as to why the ruling DMK was investigating an accused, who had already deposed before the Ooty Sessions court under Sec 313 of CrPc saying he has nothing to disclose.

However, they were not allowed to speak by Speaker M Appavu leading to noisy scenes.

Accusing the DMK government of indulging in political vendetta against the opposition members by foisting cases against them, the AIADMK members led by Leader of the Opposition Edappadi K Palaniswami and Deputy Leader O Panneerselvam staged a walk out for not allowing them to speak on the issue and later staged a protest near the Assembly hall at Kalaivanar Arangam.

Protesting against the eviction, AIADMK allies the PMK and the BJP staged a walk out. Making a statement, Chief Minister M K Stalin said there was no political interference in the matter and that the government was acting as per the court orders and fulfilling its poll promise to unravel the truth in the incident.

After the Speaker ordered their eviction, the AIADMK members staged a sit-in dharna outside the Assembly premises and shouted slogans denouncing the DMK government for foisting cases against the AIADMK men in the case and acting in an undemocratic manner. Later, talking to newspersons, Panneerselvam condemned the act of the DMK regime and said the AIADMK would be boycotting the Assembly proceedings for two days.

Palaniswami said at a time when the case has reached the fag end and the court was expected to hear the matter on 27 August and has summoned all the accused to appear before it on that day, the DMK regime was trying to include him and other AIADMK functionaries in the case.

He also alleged that without getting the permission of the court, the government has brought the prime accused Sayan to Ooty from Kerala and was trying to get forcible statements from him to include him (Palaniswami) in the case.

He said soon after the incident took place, the then AIADMK government ordered an impartial inquiry and the court was seized of the matter. He also said that the DMK lawyers had appeared for the accused in the case.

“The DMK government is now needlessly trying to include him in the case,” Palaniswami said and condemned it as an act of political vendetta.

He said the AIADMK would not be cowed by by such threats and would face it legally. Former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa used to stay at the Kodanad estate during her annual sojourn.

About four months after the death, Kodanad witnessed a break-in and murder in the wee hours of 24 April, 2017. While Om Bahadur, the security guard at the high-profile estate was found murdered, another guard was injured in what police said to be a robbery attempt by a ten-member gang.

Reports also said that the burglars had broken into the rooms that had been used by both Jayalalithaa and her close-aide VK Sasikala. The police also stated that the surveillance cameras had been removed prior to the crime by the estate management.

 

NT Bureau