CHENNAI: AIADMK joint coordinator Edappadi K Palaniswami on Sunday demanded a CBI inquiry into the reported suicide of former Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board chairman AV Venkatachalam. He justified the demand, saying the public has suspicions about Venkatachalam’s death.“Venkatachalam served the forest department for about 35 years. There was no reason for him to take this extreme step,” Palaniswami said in a statement here. Comparing Venkatachalam’s case with another, he said, the DVAC had seized cash and valuables worth `2.25 crore from the residence of a PWD engineer.
Instead of arresting or suspending the engineer, however, the person was given a promotion. “Only after the AIADMK pointed this out did the government take follow-up action,” Palaniswami added.
Venkatachalam was to continue as chairman of the TNPCB till September 2021, and, according to a Supreme Court verdict, there were chances of his tenure getting extended by another year, he said. Palaniswami alleged that the DVAC searched his residence after he refused to resign.
He also alleged the DMK government is foisting false cases on former ministers from the AIADMK, their relatives, and friends, and organising searches by misusing the DVAC.There have been reports that honest officials are being transferred and those who cannot be transferred are being coerced to resign, he said.