‘Allegations are politically motivated’: TTV on report over Sasikala’s jail privileges

The AMMK led by Sasikala’s nephew TTV Dhinakaran maintains that the allegations are meant to divert attention from the ongoing Kodanadu controversy.
‘Allegations are politically motivated’: TTV on report over Sasikala’s jail privileges
‘Allegations are politically motivated’: TTV on report over Sasikala’s jail privileges

Political parties in Tamil Nadu are divided over an inquiry commission's findings in regard to special treatment given to VK Sasikala in Bengaluru’s Central Prison. The committee's report alleges that Sasikala was given additional privileges without being eligible for them in prison. And while the AIADMK is demanding a thorough probe into the matter, the DMK and VCK have taken a more cautious stand. The Amma Munnetra Makkal Kalagam (AMMK), led by Sasikala's nephew TTV Dhinakaran meanwhile, maintains that the allegations are politically motivated and are meant to divert attention from the ongoing Kodanadu controversy. 

In the report by retired IAS officer Vinay Kumar, it has been submitted that prison officials had falsified several records for VK Sasikala – the aide of late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa – and her sister-in-law Ilavarasi, who have been lodged at the Parappana Agrahara jail in a disproportionate assets case. Among the irregularities found by the commission are – an entire corridor with five rooms being left empty for Sasikala’s use under the guise of providing security to her; extended visiting hours and falsification of records to cover this up; and free movement within jail premises with the help of jail officials.

"DIG Roopa who first pointed out the privileges that were given to VK Sasikala has done a good job and her efforts are commendable," says AIADMK spokesperson Satyan Rajan. "It shows that this group breaks rules even within prison. They are known to breach law and this revelation is no surprise. Action should be taken against the officials and the politicians behind this, which is the Mannargudi clan," he adds. 

Sources in the DMK however point out that prisoners being given special privileges is not new in Indian jails and that irrespective of politics, bribes get you the required comforts. 

The VCK maintains that if rules have been circumvented, action should be taken. 

"But only the Karnataka government can ensure a criminal case is filed against officials involved. We don't see that happening," says D Ravikumar, General Secretary of the party. 

Politically motivated

The AMMK meanwhile denies all the allegations made in the report and claims that the BJP is behind this. 

"We already know that the BJP is against us. So we are not fools to break rules blatantly within the jail. DIG Roopa herself is a BJP stooge and they are cooking up stories. As far as a separate cook and cell are concerned, the jailors made this arrangement for Sasikala's safety," says P Vetrivel of the AMMK. "This is just to help deflect attention from Edappadi Palaniswami who is being accused for the murders connected to the Kodanadu estate," he adds.

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