EPS seeks CBI probe into ex-TNPCB chief’s death
Police had said he died by suicide
Leader of the Opposition Edappadi K. Palaniswami on Sunday demanded a CBI probe into the death of A.V. Venkatachalam, former chairman of the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB). He was under the scanner of the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption. The AIADMK leader accused the Tamil Nadu police of acting on the whims and fancies of the DMK Government.
Mr. Palaniswami said people had suspicions over Venkatachalam’s death, and hence, the State Government must hand over the probe to the CBI to ensure a fair investigation. The police had said that Venkatachalam had died by suicide at his house.
In a statement, Mr. Palaniswami said whenever the DMK had come to power, those who had stood steadfast with previous governments had died under mysterious circumstances. “People are now raising questions over the deaths of former Chief Secretary Royappa, former DGP P. Durai, Anna Nagar Ramesh [a friend of Chief Minister M.K. Stalin] and his family and Sadiq Batcha [aide of former Telecom Minister A. Raja], all of whom have died mysteriously. People are suspecting that the death of Venkatachalam too is an addition to the list,” the former Chief Minister said.
He said: “The DMK captured power by making false promises, and is using the police, which functioned independently during the AIADMK rule. The DVAC, especially, is being misused to falsely target former AIADMK Ministers, their relatives, friends and at least 30 to 40 other people.”
He said Venkatachalam was under pressure from the government to provide a statement in line with the cases foisted on the AIADMK Government. He was asked to resign from his post otherwise, Mr. Palaniswami said. “Not just Venkatachalam, but several other officers are being threatened by the DMK,” he said.
(Assistance for overcoming suicidal thoughts is available at the State’s health helpline 104 and Sneha’s helpline 044-24640050)