DMK President M.K. Stalin on Monday urged Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit to take action against Chief Minister K. Palaniswami and set up a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to investigate allegations made in a video released by journalist Samuel Mathews. The DMK also urged Purohit to ask Palaniswami to step down so that an independent and honest probe could be held. Stalin and senior DMK leaders met Purohit at Raj Bhavan and submitted a memorandum to this effect.
On January 11, Mathews, a former Tehelka journalist, released a video featuring two of the accused -- Sayan and Manoj -- in the Kodanad Tea Estate robbery case linking Palaniswami to the crime that happened in 2017. The Kodanad Estate belongs to late Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa. On January 12, Palaniswami said the allegations made against him in the video were totally false and he suspected they were politically motivated. The Tamil Nadu Police on January 13 arrested Sayan and Manoj in Delhi and brought them back here.
"In normal circumstances, the Investigating Officer would have filed a petition under Section 173 (8) Cr.P.C. Since the statement implicates the Chief Minister, the police department is pursuing an investigation against persons who released the video," Stalin said.
"These people were arrested to suppress the evidence," he added. The DMK leader urged Purohit to place all the facts relating to the case before President Ram Nath Kovind to take necessary constitutional measures. Stalin said Palaniswami should be directed to demit office to pave the way for a fair and impartial investigation and a SIT comprising of officers at the rank of Inspector General of Police to conduct the probe.
(With inputs from agencies.)