COIMBATORE: With the detention of five men from Thrissur in Kerala on Friday, the Nilgiris police are close to solving the murder of a security guard at the Kodanad estate bungalow of the late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa.
While the police did not reveal the names of two, they identified the others as Santhosh, Vibu alias Vibin and Sathisan of Thrissur.
The police are also on the lookout for Kanagaraj, who was the late CM’s driver till 2012, and one Sayan of Thrissur, who had worked in a bakery in Kuniyamuthur, Coimbatore. Both of them are absconding.
The security guard got killed during their attempt to rob the bungalow, the police said. From questioning the detained men, the police have found that Kanagaraj was the mastermind.
During the robbery attempt, they attacked two guards - Om Bahadur and Kishan Bahadur - and tied their hands and legs and gagged them. They tried to enter the building by breaking the window panes, but their attempt failed. They then escaped in an SUV. In the process, Om Bahadur died of suffocation. Kishan Bahadur was injured.
The police had initially suspected the involvement of Kishan Bahadur. They took his blood sample and cross-checked it with the blood stains on broken glass. But as they did not match, his participation was ruled out.
Later, based on CCTV footage from private companies in the Sholurpuram area, the police managed to trace the presence of a Kerala SUV. On Thursday night, a special team led by Nilgiris SP Murali Rambha went to Kerala in search of the vehicle. The police seized the SUV and nabbed the five near Thrissur.
“Kanagaraj had befriended Sayan and Santhosh, who had worked as a load man in a furniture showroom in the Nilgiris. He had gone to the Kodanad bungalow to unload furniture, and was thus familiar with it”.
“As Santhosh and Kanagaraj were familiar with the bunglow, they must have tried to rob the place, ” they added.
West Zone Deputy Inspector General Deepak M Damor said the police had secured a few persons in connection with the murder and robbery attempt.