Opposition Leader V.S. Achuthanandan on Friday demanded an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation into the allegations of corruption in Malabar Cements and the deaths of people who were privy to incriminating information related to the case.

Addressing a press conference here, Mr. Achuthanandan said the death of Satheendra Kumar, brother of Suryanarayanan, personal secretary of the managing director of Mabalar Cements, under suspicious circumstances, pointed to the need of handing over the inquiry to the CBI.

He said Mr. Satheendra Kumar had been run over by a bus near Coimbatore, but it was suspected that it was a pre-meditated murder. Several officials, who had spoken openly about the corruption in the company, were being done away with one by one.

He wanted the Chief Minister to write to his Tamil Nadu counterpart seeking a high-level inquiry into the death of Satheendra Kumar. He alleged that the higher ups in the State administration feared a CBI probe and were making all-out attempts to scuttle the move.

He said the State government had gone back on its assurance in the State Assembly about handing over the case to the CBI. The Home Minister had stated in the relevant file that the State government did not have any objections to handing over the corruption cases to the CBI.

But this decision was not intimated to the High Court, which had sought the government opinion.

The Home Minister had also informed the State Assembly that the government did not have any objections in handing over the case to the CBI. But later, in his reply to a submission of M Chandran (CPI-M), he had changed his position by stating that the government was prepared to give the relevant documents to the CBI for examination.