Hours after Tehelka’s former editor Mathew Samuel accused a Puthiya Thalaimurai reporter of revealing the whereabouts of the accused in the Kodanad burglary case, the journalist under question has called the accusations misleading and mischievous.
On Sunday night, Tamil Nadu police picked up Sayan and ‘Walayar’ Manoj, members of the gang that broke into former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa’s Kodanad estate in April 2017, from New Delhi for questioning. The arrest came days after Mathew Samuel released a video, which had the testimonies of the duo alleging that it was Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami who had ordered the break-in. Following the release of the video, AIADMK member Rajan Chellappa’s son Satyan filed a complaint with the police based on which a special team set out to Delhi to arrest the men.
The police arrested Sayan and Manoj minutes after they met with him, claimed Mathew Samuel in a selfie-video posted on his Facebook page on Sunday night. Terming it a ‘kidnapping’, Mathew also alleged Edappadi Palaniswami’s hand in the arrests.
A short while after posting the video about the arrests, Mathew took to Facebook to accuse a Delhi-based reporter of Tamil news channel Puthiya Thalaimurai, Honey Kumar, of revealing details about the whereabouts of Sayan, Manoj and himself.
“It is so sad how Puthiya Thalaimurai journalist Honey Harikumar betrays another journalist by serving a pimp for Tamil Nadu police to guide where we were sitting,” read his post. The post goes on to say that Honey Kumar did this in order to be praised by the Chief Minister and requests people to boycott the reporter.
Honey Kumar, however, denied Mathew’s allegations. In a Facebook post, the Puthiya Thalaimurai reporter called Mathew’s accusations “mischievous” and “misleading”.
“I went to Dwarka to took Interview of Mr.Mathews and Sayan and Manoj. After taking their interview to I back to My Vehicle which is Parked in the opposite side of the Road to send the feed (sic),” he wrote. Adding that the police reached the spot immediately after he left the location, he said that he came to know of the arrest only after Mathew Samuel sent him a voice message on WhatsApp. Honey Kumar also stated that Mathew had misunderstood that he was the one who sent location details to the police.
“Here I want to make it very clear that I don’t have any Connection on the allegation of said incident and i (am) worried a lot about the False Allegation against me (sic),” Honey Kumar posted.
The controversy surrounding the break-in in Kodanad resurfaced after a 16-minute video by Mathew Samuel. The investigative report claims that Jayalalithaa’s former driver Kanagaraj had allegedly told Sayan and Manoj that Edappadi Palaniswami was involved in the planning of the break-in.
Sayan and Manoj claimed in the video and later in a press meet in New Delhi that it was Kanagaraj who told them that Edappadi Palaniswami wanted them to retrieve Rs 2,000 crore and some important documents from inside the estate. Kanagaraj died in an accident in April 2017, days after the burglary in Kodanad estate.
There is, however, no evidence offered by the report on the allegations made by Sayan and Manoj, both named as accused in the case.
The break-in has been marred by a number of mysterious deaths. On April 24, 2017 a security guard named Om Bahadur was murdered when a group of men burgled the estate. Days later, Kanagaraj, Jayalalithaa’s former driver died in a car accident. On the same day, Sayan, who was travelling with his family, also met with a car accident. While Sayan survived, his wife and daughter were killed in the accident. In July that year, Dinesh Kumar, who was a CCTV operator at the estate killed himself.
Source: The News Minute