Chennai

Rebels parade accused to take on Ponn Manickavel

Additional Superintendent of Police A. Elangovan and other police officials with an accused demanding a CBI probe in an idol theft case, in Chennai, on Monday.

Additional Superintendent of Police A. Elangovan and other police officials with an accused demanding a CBI probe in an idol theft case, in Chennai, on Monday.   | Photo Credit: K. Pichumani

Meet DGP to demand a CBI inquiry into idol theft cases

In an unprecedented act, a group of police personnel led by Additional Superintendent of Police A. Ilangovan paraded an accused in an Idol Wing case before mediapersons, claiming that he was framed by former Inspector General of Police Ponn Manickavel.

Mr. Ilangovan and others then took the accused and another man who had sold the idol to the office of the Director General of Police to facilitate submission of a petition seeking a CBI probe in the case.

Mr. Ilangovan has been leading a group of personnel who have raised a banner of revolt against Mr. Manickavel, who has been appointed as a Special Officer in the Idol Wing CID after his recent retirement by the Madras High Court. The dissenting personnel have alleged that Mr. Manickavel, during his stint as head of the Idol Wing, coerced them into randomly lodging FIRs against persons to arrest them. They sought transfers out of the Idol Wing as they were not inclined to do Mr. Manickavel’s bidding any longer.

‘Cases foisted’

On Monday evening, Mr. Ilangovan and a few other police personnel presented Sakthivel, an accused in an idol theft case, and another person K. Deenadayalan, a resident of Porur, to allege that a case of idol smuggling was foisted on Sakthivel, on the directions of Mr. Manickavel.

He alleged that Deenadayalan had an idol worth ₹7,000 to ₹10,000 for the purpose of worship in his house. “Actually, I bought an Ashtalakshmi idol and had it in my house for five years. I decided to sell it to a scrap dealer as elders in the family told me that keeping the idol at home was not proper. I sold it to four youngsters. But they (including Sakthivel) were arrested on false charges that the idol was worth ₹50 lakh,” Deenadayalan claimed.

According to Deenadayalan, it was only upon reading news reports that four youth had been arrested that he learnt that he had sold the idol to them. “I now want to expose that this is a fake case and want a CBI probe,” he said. Sakthivel claimed, “A case was foisted on me. I was unable to tell this to the magistrate.”

Mr. Ilangovan then alleged that all the other idol theft cases had also been foisted in a similar manner. “That is why we are all demanding a CBI enquiry,” he said.

When asked if it was proper for the police to openly defend an accused, Mr. Ilangovan and others walked away and he was heard saying that “Manickavel is being glorified by the media and on social media”.

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Printable version | Feb 27, 2020 7:34:41 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/rebels-parade-accused-to-take-on-ponn-manickavel/article25822959.ece

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