Crime
MLA VC Arukutty tells TNM that Edappadi Palanisamy had issues with the late driver's family.

In yet another twist to the Kodanadu estate robbery case, the Attur police on Tuesday, summoned AIADMK MLA VC Arukutty who had been in constant touch with prime accused S Kanagaraj. According to media reports, Kanagaraj's phone records showed that he had received 300 calls from the MLA and his aides.

An investigating officer conducted the inquiry with the MLA, who represents Kavundampalayam, in Salem district. The MLA, who is now part of the OPS faction, spoke to The News Minute following what he claims to be part of routine investigation.

"Kanagaraj used to work as my driver on call. During the last one and a half years, I would call him atleast once in a month to drive me to Coimbatore," explains the MLA about his phone calls to the driver.

"I am someone who is in public life. Having met the man several times, I must admit that I am shocked that he has been accused of breaking in to the estate and even murdering a guard. From what I know of him, he is not such a person," he adds.

MLA Arukutty further told TNM that he had not contacted the driver following his decision to extend support to former Chief Minister O Panneerselvam. "I know that he was attached to Garden (Poes Garden). He had links to people in that faction. So, it did not seem wise to use him. I haven't spoken to him in four months, But if I even suspected that he was capable of such a crime, I would have never hired him," he claims.

36-year-old Kanagaraj had served as a driver for Jayalalithaa from 2008 to 2013. He was then, according to reports, told to resign after he misused the former Chief Minister's name. His family, which has alleged conspiracy in his death, however claims that his removal as a driver was a 'political conspiracy'. His brother Dhanabal, who is also part of the AIADMK, claims Kanagaraj was removed by Edappadi Palaniswami. Edapadi despised Dhanabal, the family claimed.

When asked about the alleged bad blood between Kanagaraj's brother and the Chief Minister, the MLA says, "Yes, his brother was given a councillor seat and then that was taken away. There was an issue over this. As far as his death is concerned, there is an investigation underway. But from what I know of him, he is not the kind to commit such a crime."

Kamaraj was killed in an accident near Attur, a day after he was accused in the Kodanadu estate robbery case. Strangely enough, another accused in the case - KV Sayan also met with an accident near Palakkad in Kerala.

The investigation in the case is still underway in the matter. A gang of 11 men allegedly attacked security guards Om Bahadur and Krishna Bahadur at gate number 10 of the estate. Om was murdered and Krishna injured. While the police are yet to ascertain details of the burglary, it is believed that a will written by Jayalalithaa was taken.