In what could become yet another sensational criminal case, a guard at the high-profile Kodanadu tea estate which belonged to the late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa was found murdered on a private road inside the estate in the wee hours of Monday.
Reports say that another guard was also found injured at the spot, and that he seemed to have been tied and beaten up.
According to initial information, the dead watchman was found near Gate No. 9 of the estate, which has several entrances and exits. The dead guard has been identified as Omkar, a Nepali. A group of unknown persons allegedly came in a car and hacked him to death, injuring the other guard. Police investigating to see if it's a case of a robbery attempt.
Jayalalithaa's bungalow sits on top of the hill and the entire estate is heavily guarded. The police are at the spot and investigating the incident, and area has been barricaded and cordoned off. Nilgiris district SP Murali is investigating the case.
After the leader’s death, the estate and assets attached to it are believed to have been transferred to Sasikala, who is presently in a Bengaluru jail serving a sentence for the disproportionate assets case.
The 800-acre Kodanadu tea estate is believed to be worth several hundred crores, and Jayalalithaa had a stake in it. Located 12 km from Kotagiri in Nilgiris district, Kodanadu had become a tourist hotspot and destination for the rich to buy property. It was also Jayalalithaa’s favorite summer retreat, and the entire state administration was known to shift to the estate during the summers.