THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The CBI, which is probing the death of violinist Balabhaskar in Kerala, has begun interrogating the members of his music group 'Big band' to collect details of their trips abroad for music events.
Earlier, the musician's ex-associates Prakashan Thampi and Vishnu Somasundaram were arrested in connection with gold smuggling through Thiruvananthapuram airport last year. Nine band members and Balabhaskar's long time friend and musician Ishaan Dev are being grilled. The statements are being recorded at the CBI office at Muttathara in Thiruvananthapuram.
The CBI decided to record the statements as the sleuths suspect Thampi and Vishnu were involved in gold smuggling in Balabhaskar's music trips to foreign countries especially to West Asia.
Last week, the CBI sought the documents related to the gold smuggling case from the Customs. Earlier, Thampi and Vishnu were grilled and polygraph tests were also conducted. Balabhaskar's driver Arjun and the witness in the case, Kalabhavan Soby, were also subjected to the polygraph test while the CBI had also recorded statements from the musician Stephan Devassy.
CBI DySP (Thiruvananthapuram unit) T P Anandakrishnan is leading the interrogation which began at 10 am at the CBI office at Muttathara in Thiruvananthapuram. DRI had arrested Vishnu and Thampi on charges of smuggling in connection with the seizure of 25 kg of gold from a passenger who alighted at the Thiruvananthapuram airport from Dubai on May 15, 2019.
The violinist's father C K Unni had alleged the involvement of Thampi and Vishnu Somasundaram in the death. Unni had filed a complaint to State Police Chief Loknath Behera seeking a detailed probe. He had alleged the accident was managed by the gold smuggling racket, which prompted the government to hand the case over to the CBI.