news Thursday, April 09, 2015 - 05:30
The News Minute | April 5, 2015 | 08:00 am IST The CB-CID of Tamil Nadu arrested former agriculture minister Agri Krishnamoorthy on Saturday night for his alleged involvement in the suicide of a senior government officer. Following his arrest, Krishnamoorthy was taken to the Nellai court and then remanded to judicial custody. Krishnamoorthy’s arrest comes after days of strong protests by the opposition parties in the state, even inside and outside the state assembly. Agri Krishnamoorthy and his colleagues are alleged to have threatened Muthukumaraswamy, a senior engineer in the department. Muthukumaraswamy had jumped in front of a train in Tirunelveli on February 20 and taken his life. It is being alleged that the former minister and his colleagues had put pressure on the engineer to recruit to the post of driver persons whom the minister had recommended. Said to be an honest officer by people known to him, Muthukumaraswamy strictly followed the rules and did not heed to the minister’s recommendations. It is also being alleged that the minister and his colleagues had threatened Muthukumaraswamy, who had just three months left to retire from service, that he would be suspended if money was not paid to them. Unable to take the pressure, the engineer had availed a loan to pay the bribe, and when he found it difficult to repay the loan, he committed suicide. It was after a strong protest from the opposition and government staff that the minister was sacked from the party post and also from the Council. Even though "Agri" Krishnamoorthy was removed by AIADMK chief J Jayalaltihaa amidst other party expulsions, a clear reason for his removal was never cited.  The state DGO had handed over the case to the CB-CID wing, but Krishnamoorthy’s name was not included in the probe. Political parties in Tamil Nadu have been demanding an independent investigation by the CBI into the official’s death.

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