The mystery around the death of Malayalam film actor Kalabhavan Mani deepened after the chemical examination of his viscera samples reported presence of an organophosphate insecticide.
The chemical examination report, which showed the presence of pest control substance Chlorpyrifos, came close on the finding of the police that spurious liquor was used at the actor’s farm house at Chalakkudy.
The regional chemical laboratory on Friday handed over the report to the police, who have already registered a case of unnatural death.
The police have taken into custody Mani’s three close aides in connection with the probe. His family members have also raised suspicion about the conduct of the friends on the day before he was taken into hospital.
Mani, a versatile actor and folk singer, had died on March 6 in a private hospital in Kochi. The unexpected death of the 45-year-old actor raised a storm after the presence of methyl alcohol was detected in his blood.
Subsequently, the police had registered a case and questioned several persons, including small-time actors Jaffer Idukki and Tharikida Sabu, who had been with Mani at the farm house a day before he was hospitalised.
Mani’s family members deposed before the police that while Mani was in hospital, his farm house, where he used to drink with friends, was cleaned in haste by the aides, Vipin, Murukan and Arun. Local residents have informed the police that spurious liquor used to be ferried to the farm house when film personalities and friends visited Mani.
Mani’s brother R L V Ramakrishnan told media that the family has serious doubts about the death. “The conduct of his three aides raises doubts. On hearing that methyl alcohol was detected in Mani’s blood, these friends returned from the hospital in Kochi to Chalakkudy and cleaned the farm house. They have destroyed evidence. These friend had never answered to our doubts about what type of liquor Mani had consumed at the farm house,’’ said Ramakrishnan.
Ramakrishnan said Mani was spoiled by his friends, who used to force him to consume liquor. Doctors had warned Mani against using liquor as he had developed symptoms of liver cirrhosis.
He said Mani would never commit suicide as a person who had weathered several hardships in life before becoming a film star.
Police sources said the three aides are still in their custody as part of the investigation. The postmortem report had indicated that Mani had been suffering from an advanced stage of cirrhosis.
Dr Sumesh, who had first treated Mani after he was found unwell at the farm house, told media that Mani had vomited several times before being shifted to the hospital.