Kanagaraj is the prime suspect in the murder of the security guard at Kodanadu estate.

Murder or accident Jayalalithaas ex-driver linked with Kodanadu crime found dead
news Crime Saturday, April 29, 2017 - 11:03

In a shocking twist to the murder of the security guard at former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s Kodanadu estate, the prime suspect in the case has been found dead in Salem.

Kanagaraj, who was once Jayalalithaa’s driver reportedly died in a road accident near Attur on Friday night. Reports suggest that Kanagaraj, who was riding his bike was hit by a Karnataka registration car near Attur at 8.30pm on Friday.

Meanwhile, another suspect Sayan alias Shyam, also met with an accident while travelling with his family from Thrissur to Palakkad on Friday night. While Sayan is critical, his wife Vinupriya (27) and daughter Neethu (5) died on the spot. Their bodies have been taken to the Palakkad District Government Hospital.   

Judicial Magistrate R Selvakumar on Saturday took Sayan's declaration statement at the GKNM hospital, where he is admitted. 

Puthiya Thalaimurai reports that police are investigating whether the accidents were planned or coincidental.

The deaths comes even as the Tamil Nadu police had launched a hunt for him as they suspected him to be the mastermind behind the murder of the security guard and the break in at Jayalalithaa’s Kodanadu estate.

According to reports,  Kanagaraj, who is from Chennai, was sacked from the driver's post by the late Chief Minister when she found out that he was misusing her name. But he was already aware of the details of the estate in Nilgiris district and has visited it multiple times in the past. Of the seven people detained, three people from Thrissur were allegedly associates of Kanagaraj.

Reports suggest that the alleged mastermind befriended Sayan of Thrissur and was working at a bakery in Coimbatore. He hatched a conspiracy with Sayan to loot the Kodanadu bungalow after Jayalalithaa's death. Sayan then reportedly arranged for a five-member gang from Thrissur.

The burglary took place on April 24 at around 1.30 am. The gang murdered 51-year-old Om Bahadur, a security guard and severely assaulted another 27-year-old guard Krishna Bahadur at the gate of the estate.

They then allegedly broke into rooms that Jayalalithaa and Sasikala used at the bungalow. It is suspected that they made away with some valuables from the estate. The registration plate on an SUV used by the gang helped police find some of its members is Thrissur. 

Those detained in Thrissur include Satheeshan, 42, son of Sahadevan of Pudukkad, Deepu, 32, son of Dineshan of Kanakamala near Kodakara, and Santhosh, 40, son of Chathutty of Avittappilli. Satheeshan is reportedly a labourer, Deepu is a tipper driver and Santhosh a temple priest. There are reports that four others were arrested from Malappuram district, but their names were not available.

The enquiry is currently underway. Police plan to bring all seven to the Kodanadu estate for further investigation on Saturday. 

The sprawling 800-acre estate has several gates and six other security guards were on duty during the break in. There were however no visits made to the estate, following Sasikala's arrest in February. Former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa used the estate as a summer retreat - to escape Chennai's scorching heat. It is well known that during her tenure as Chief Minister, staff were camped there for weeks at a stretch. Video conferences were often held by the Chief Minister with bureaucrats and ministers. 

The property in Nilgiris district first came into the public spotlight in the 90s as part of allegations of disproportionate assets against the then AIADMK chief.

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