Tamil Nadu

Key witness in Kodanad break-in and murder case missing, police form teams to trace him

A file photograph of the Kodanad estate

A file photograph of the Kodanad estate   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Krishna Thaba, who was working as a security guard at the estate at the time of the crime, left for his native village in Nepal and since then, has gone elsewhere for a job, police believe

A security guard and a prime witness in the sensational Kodanad dacoity-cum-murder case, who himself was injured during the break-in into the bungalow of the former chief minister Jayalalithaa in April 2017, has gone missing. Special police teams have been formed to trace his whereabouts.

Officials said that Krishna Thaba was working as a security guard at the Kodanad Estate when he and another security guard, Om Bahadur, were attacked by a group of 11 men who were trying to enter the bungalow of the former Chief Minister allegedly to steal money and valuables from the property.

The attack resulted in the death of Om Bahadur, while Thaba, who was also posted as security at the same gate as the one through which the gang managed to gain entry into the estate, was seriously injured. He was admitted to hospital and managed to recover from his injuries, rejoining work a few weeks after the attack. The attackers were subsequently arrested by the Nilgiris district police and charged with the murder and dacoity, among other charges.

After the incident occurred however, it has been said that Thaba quit his job as security guard at the estate and returned to his native village in Nepal, from where too, he seems to have left to find a job. As Thaba is the Prosecution Witness Number 1 in the case, the police have formed special teams to try and locate him, so that he can testify before the court in the upcoming hearings, when questioning of witnesses in the case is to begin.

Officials said that Thaba had returned to his village and had been living there for a short while, before leaving to find work, possibly in Assam or West Bengal. As Thaba does not use a mobile phone or any electronic communication device, police are finding it difficult to trace his whereabouts.

The search for Thaba has been ongoing for over two weeks, with police confident of locating him in the coming days. They said that they did not expect Thaba going missing to have any effect on the trial.

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Printable version | Feb 28, 2020 6:42:17 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/key-witness-in-kodanad-break-in-and-murder-case-missing-police-form-teams-to-trace-him/article30643683.ece

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