Former Tamil Nadu chief minister late J Jayalalithaa’s Kodanad estate continues to be mired in controversy with the number of mysterious deaths of those related to the estate going up. Yet another person of the estate was found hanging from the ceiling in his house in Kothagiri near Udhagamandalam late Monday. The 28-year-old man was one of the accountants of the estate. Prior to this, a security guard of the estate was found murdered and a suspect in the case died in a road mishap after that. A look at all that has happened so far in this curious case and the previous ones:
Dinesh Kumar was one of the three accountants employed by the estate that was once Jayalalithaa’s holiday retreat. According to reports citing family sources, Kumar was discussing with some other estate staff a couple of days ago about what would happen with their jobs with a change in management likely to take place. Police said it is investigating whether there could be any family dispute behind Kumar’s death. The estate is part of the disproportionate assets case that involved Jayalalithaa and jailed AIADMK general secretary VK Sasikala.
Kumar’s death comes nearly two-and-a-half months after a security guard of the bungalow estate was found murdered on April 24 this year. One of the suspects in the case, Jayalalithaa’s driver Kanakaraj, died in a road mishap on April 29 in Salem. Another suspect was injured seriously in a road accident that killed his wife and daughter.
The Opposition DMK has demanded a home secretary-monitored probe into the matter by a top ranking police officer. The BJP Tamil Nadu unit had also raised a similar demand calling for an expanded probe into the 50-year-old guard Om Bahadur’s break-in-cum murder. The estate is located in the Nilgiris district and is spread over at least 900 acres. It is said to be worth thousands of crores of rupees.