Kanagaraj was the prime accused in the murder of a security guard, Om Bahadur, who was killed at the Kodanad estate in April 2017.

A collage of Kanagaraj's image and red car rammed into the bike
news Kodanad Case Friday, October 22, 2021 - 09:48

The police in Tamil Nadu's Salem on Thursday, October 22, took up a case pertaining to the death of C Kanagaraj, the driver of the former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister late J Jayalalithaa.

Kanagaraj was the prime accused in the murder of a security guard, Om Bahadur at the Kodanad estate, owned by the former CM, in April 2017. Kanagaraj was killed in a road accident at Attur in April 2017 while he was riding a two-wheeler on the Salem-Ulundurpet highway.

The prosecution said that while Kanagaraj was taking a right turn to move to the service lane, a speeding car moving towards Perambalur hit his two-wheeler and he was tossed onto the road.

He was rushed to the Attur government hospital but doctors declared him brought dead. Kanagaraj's family members, including his brother Dhanapal, have been demanding a detailed investigation into his death, stating that he was murdered. The Kodanad estate is a 906-acre area situated in Nilgiris district of Tamil Nadu and owned by the late J Jayalalithaa and her aide VK Sasikala.

On April 24, 2017, four months after Jayalalithaa's death, and two months after Sasikala's arrest, burglars broke open the estate, and the security guard manning gate number 10, Om Bahadur, was murdered. Kanagaraj was the prime accused in the case and after he died in the accident five days after the murder at Kodanad, another accused in the case, Sayan, also met with an accident at Palakkad in Kerala in which his wife and daughter were killed.

Sayan, however, escaped with injuries. The computer operator of the estate, Dhinesh Kumar was also found dead at his residence on July 3. The former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu K Palaniswami, was under scrutiny after Sayan alleged that the heist was done at the behest of the AIADMK leader. The DMK had made the Kodanad estate burglary and murder a major election issue during the 2021 Assembly polls and had promised a re-investigation into the case.

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