Kerala

Kerala government asks CBI to probe violinist Balabhaskar’s death

Violinist Balabhaskar. File

Violinist Balabhaskar. File   | Photo Credit: T. Singaravelou

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Musician was fatally injured in a controversial car accident in 2018

 

The Kerala government has requested the CBI to reinvestigate the death of violinist Balabhaskar, who was fatally injured in a controversial car accident here in 2018.

The move comes against the backdrop of intense pressure from the musician’s parents and also a recent finding by the Directorate of Revenue of Investigation (DRI) that at least two persons in Balabhaskar’s entourage were involved in a massive gold smuggling operation orchestrated by a racket involving Dubai-based investors and at least one senior customs officer.

The Kerala police Crime Branch, which had investigated the case, had found no proof of foul play or conspiracy in the death of the musician.

The scepticism aired by Balabhaskar’s father about the findings of the Crime Branch and the musician’s immense popularity as a youth icon had spawned countless conspiracy theories, forcing the CB to verify most of them.

New turn of events

Of late, Balabhaskar’s parents said the arrest of two of the musician’s aides, Prakashan Thampi and Vishnu Somasundaram, on COFEPOSA charges, had added a new element of mystery to his death.

The Crime Branch had found no evidence linking the gold smuggling case to Balabhaskar’s death. It dispelled the allegation that the alleged smugglers were at the spot when the accident occurred and another yet-to-be traced vehicle had caused the crash.

The Crime Branch had said fingerprints and serological evidence lifted from the scene of the collision had debunked the theory that the musician was at the wheel when the accident occurred early on September 25, 2018.

Tyre tracks had indicated that the car had veered hard to the extreme right of the carriageway and hit a tree abutting the road.

The impact mortally injured Balabhaskar, who died later at a private hospital on October 2. It also claimed the life of his two-year-old daughter, Tejaswini.

Balabhaskar’s wife Lakshmi and the driver of their car, Arjun, sustained severe injuries.

Forensic experts, who reconstructed the accident, concluded that Balabhaskar was lying prone in the rear seat of the car at the time of the impact. His wife was riding shotgun along with their daughter and Arjun was at the wheel.

The CB learned from the automaker that the vehicle was travelling well above the legal speed limit when the crash occurred. The safety mechanisms, including two airbags in the front, had deployed, hinting that the passengers in the front were wearing seat belts.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2020 3:00:48 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/kerala-govt-asks-cbi-to-probe-violinist-balabhaskars-death/article30266341.ece

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