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Three days police custody for Ravi Subramaniam

By V.V. Subramanian



Police take away Ravi Subramaniam (left) after presenting him before the Kancheepuram Judicial Magistrate Court on Monday. - Photo : A. Muralitharan

KANCHEEPURAM, DEC. 27. The special investigation team, probing the Sankararaman murder case, today produced the "elusive" building contractor, Ravi Subramaniam, before the Kancheepuram Judicial Magistrate-I, G. Uthamaraj. He has been cited as one of the prime accused in the case of murder of Sankararaman, manager of Sri Varadarajaperumal temple, Kancheepuram. The Kanchi Sankaracharya, Sri Jayendra Saraswathi, is the main accused in the case.

The Magistrate told Mr. Subramaniam that he had been arrested in connection with the murder case under Section 302, read with Section 34 and Section 120 (B) of the Indian Penal Code, and remanded to 15 days' judicial custody.

Earlier, the Additional Superintendent of Police and Chief Investigation Officer in the murder case, S.P. Sakthivelu, entered the court complex in his jeep around 2.45 p.m. with Mr. Subramaniam seated in the rear. He waited at the court hall for about 40 minutes as it was lunch time.

Mr. Sakthivelu submitted a sworn affidavit in the court seeking seven days' police custody for Mr. Subramaniam since the investigation team wanted to get details of his alleged involvement in the conspiracy and how the money was distributed to the hirelings.

Arrested at Guruvayur

He said that Mr. Subramaniam was arrested by a team of policemen led by the Koyambedu Police Station Inspector, Srinivasan, from a tourist home at Guruvayur, Kerala, at 4.15 p.m. on December 26. The team brought him to Kancheepuram around 2 p.m.

When the Magistrate asked Mr. Subramaniam to respond to the request made by the police, he said he had no objection. After recording his reply, the Magistrate ordered three days' police custody from 4 p.m. today up to 5 p.m. on December 29. Subsequently, the police took away Mr. Subramaniam to an undisclosed place.

A Chennai-based lawyer came to the investigation bungalow here on December 19 to "ascertain" whether the special investigation team had arrested Mr. Subramaniam or not on that day.

Two days later, there were rumours that the building contractor had "surrendered" before a Chennai City Police Inspector on December 19 and was taken to Kancheepuram. Subsequently, another advocate, claiming to be a family friend of Mr. Subramaniam, came to Kancheepuram on December 24 to meet a senior police official heading the investigation team "presumably" to enquire about the whereabouts of his client.

After a 30-minute meeting with the police official, he came out of the investigation bungalow and told the press that the senior police officer had shown him a letter purportedly written by his client from Bhopal.

He claimed that the officer had assured him that Mr. Subramaniam would be arrested within two or three days.

No knowledge

Our Thrissur Staff Reporter writes:

The Thrissur Superintendent of Police, T. Vikram, today neither confirmed nor denied reports that Ravi Subramaniam was arrested at Guruvayur. ``We have not been informed about the arrest. They [Tamil Nadu police] must have come to Guruvayur and arrested the accused,'' Mr. Vikram told The Hindu .

``Secrecy needs to be maintained in the investigation of some cases. We [Kerala police] sometimes operate in the same manner when we send investigation teams to other States,'' he added.

The Sub-Inspector of Guruvayur police, M.L. Radhakrishnan, too denied any knowledge of the arrest. ``No one sought our help. We don't know when and where the arrest was made. If at all the accused was arrested from Guruvayur, the local police have had no role in it,'' he said.

Our Thiruvananthpuram Staff Reporter writes:

A top State police official here, when contacted, denied any knowledge of the arrest of Ravi Subramaniam in Guruvayur. He said that it was not unusual for a police team from another State to make such an arrest without informing the local police. However, it was better to inform them in case they encountered problem or needed help.

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