Tamil Nadu

Armed robbers attack Jaya’s estate, kill guard

The police personnel at Kodanad Estate.   | Photo Credit: Rohan Premkumar

Armed and masked robbers allegedly forced an entry into the estate of former chief minister Jayalalithaa in Kodanad near Kotagiri in Nilgiris district and attacked two private security guards killing one and injuring the other shortly after midnight on Monday, police sources said.

Though investigators were tight-lipped on the possibility of the suspects taking away any valuables or documents, sources in the intelligence agencies said there was little scope for the robbers to launch an attack and escape from the scene since all exit routes in the district were sealed in an hour after the incident.

Security guard Krishna Bahadur (37) of Nepal, who claimed to have suffered injuries in the attack, told investigators that a gang of about ten came in two SUVs around 1.30 a.m. and entered through Gate No 10. When he and his colleague Om Bahadur (51) intercepted them, the suspects attacked them. Om Bahadur was killed and hung upside down from a tree. Krishna Bahadur claimed that he fell unconscious after the intruders used an anaesthetic substance. He gained consciousness 45 minutes later and alerted the local police.

“We were informed about the incident at 2.55 a.m. All roads exiting the district were sealed. It is not possible for the suspects to escape from the district in an hour-and-a-half. Everything is intact here…there is no evidence of a gang breaking into the house or looting anything. The rooms of the former Chief Minister have remained locked for more than a year now,” Nilgiris District Superintendent of Police Murali Rambha told The Hindu.

The sprawling 800-acre estate has several gates and six other security guards were on duty on Monday night. However, they were all located far away.

Since there were no visible injuries on Om Bahadur’s body, police suspect that he could have been strangled before being hung from the tree.

There was reportedly a power cut in the estate premises when the alleged attack took place.

Krishna Bahadur also claimed that the accused broke window panes to gain entry to the residential rooms.

Special teams were formed to peruse CCTV footage recorded in public and private establishments on roads leading to the Kodanad estate.

Sniffer dogs were pressed into service. Though there was a CCTV surveillance system on the premises, it was either removed or not working.

While efforts were on to locate the suspected robbers, the antecedents of Krishna Bahadur were also being verified, police sources said and added that the role of an insider could not be ruled out.

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Printable version | Jun 18, 2021 5:57:50 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/security-guard-at-jayalalithaas-kodanad-estate-hacked-to-death/article18198552.ece

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