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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Murder case: CB-CID produces DMK MP in court same day it got custody, victim’s counsel alleges ‘soft corner’

The Lok Sabha MP from Cuddalore is the prime accused in the alleged murder of Govindarasu, an employee in his cashew unit off Panruti in Cuddalore district. Five others, including his assistant have also been arrested.

By: PTI | Cuddalore |
October 15, 2021 11:47:57 am
DMK’s Cuddalore MP TRVS Ramesh (left) and victim Govindarasu. (Photo: Facebook @Dr. S. Ramadoss)

Following questioning, the CB-CID produced DMK MP TRVS Ramesh in a court the same day it got his custody in a murder case, while counsel for the victim’s family alleged the police wing has a ‘soft corner’ for him.

Police sources, however, rejected the allegation saying the case is being handled as per laws.

On October 13, the Chief Judicial Magistrate court here granted the CB-CID one day custody of Ramesh. Following questioning, sources said he was produced back in the court the same day and he was remanded to judicial custody and lodged in a prison in the district.

The Lok Sabha MP from Cuddalore is the prime accused in the alleged murder of Govindarasu, an employee in his cashew unit off Panruti in Cuddalore district. Five others, including his assistant have also been arrested.

Counsel for the victim’s family, K Balu told PTI, “the court granted police custody for one day. But within three hours, he was produced back in court. This is a symbolic custody.”

“Merely, to fulfill the requirement of custodial interrogation, the MP was taken into custody, the CB-CID has a soft corner for Ramesh,” Balu, who is also the spokesperson for Pattali Makkal Katchi, alleged.

Police sources defended producing him back in the court the same day since he ‘cooperated’ with authorities in respect of the case and the custody, though brief, served the purpose of probe in the murder case.

Though custody may have been granted for a specific length of time, there is no need or norm that required custody of accused persons till the expiration of that period, sources added.

“If an accused person does not reveal his knowledge of crime or his role and so on, we may even seek custody for a number of days more. It all depends on the progress of the probe vis a vis the accused persons,” police sources said.

The counsel said, like the practice followed in other crime cases, simultaneously, all the accused persons should have been taken into custody and interrogated to establish the truth. However, this was not done in this case for reasons best known to the CB-CID, he said.

The five other co-accused persons have not yet been taken into custody, Balu said, adding, “this should have been done to corroborate the claims and statement of the prime accused person, the MP while he was in the brief custody of CB-CID.”

Tracing the progress of the case, he said days ago, when police had stated that they were on the lookout for the MP, he wondered how he could manage to surrender before a court that has jurisdiction over the very place of the alleged crime.

Usually, in serious cases like murder, police always try to arrest the accused persons and in the past, arrests have occurred even near the premises of a court and just before the accused men attempted to surrender.

Also, accused persons usually surrender in a court far away from the place of an alleged crime obviously to evade police and arrest, he pointed out.

“But, the MP surrendered comfortably in this case.”

Even after altering the case from one of death under suspicious circumstances into murder, the CB-CID “purposely avoided” his arrest, Balu alleged and said the police wing arrested the five co-accused persons in the first place.

“The prime accused should have been arrested first,” he said.

Govindarasu, a PMK office-bearer, had been working in the cashew unit owned by Ramesh in Cuddalore district for the past about seven years.

On September 19, Govindarasu went to work as usual. However, he did not return. Early morning next day, his son Senthilvel was informed by the cashew nut unit that “Govindarasu died by suicide.” The management had claimed his father had consumed poison.

Initially police probed it as a “death under suspicious circumstances”.

Later, the case was taken up by the CB-CID and Senthilvel filed a writ plea in the Madras High Court seeking a CBI probe for a fair investigation. He had also sought conduct of post-mortem by a team of doctors from JIPMER Hospital in Puducherry and this prayer was allowed by the court.

According to the counsel, there are several questions that remain unanswered. For instance, when Govindarasu was taken by the cashew unit personnel to Kadampuliyur Police Station with notable injuries, the police did not act immediately to rush him to a hospital and instead chose to send him along with people who had “harmed” him.

“Govindarasu was beaten up and he died,” Balu alleged and said CB-CID should ensure free and fair investigation.

Days ago, photos of Govindarasu purportedly standing in that police station with injuries like a big swelling over his left eye and blood stains on his shirt appeared in social media.

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