A 31-year-old witness in the case against TTV Dhinakaran, who allegedly bribed an Election Commission official, committed suicide on Wednesday, hours after Dhinakaran was summoned to appear before the investigating agency, according to sources familiar with the incident.
The deceased has been identified as Advocate Gopinath, who was working as a subordinate of a Dhinakaran prosecutor in a bribery case, sources said.
In 2017, shortly after the death of AIADMK icon J Jayalalithaa, a bitter factional war broke out between O Panirselvam and Dhinakaran’s aunt VK Shashikala. In order to secure the ‘two page’ election symbol for the Shashikala group, another accused associate of Dhinakaran, ‘Conman’ Sukesh Chandrasekhar, has been accused of trying to bribe an EC official.
Chandrasekhar was arrested by Delhi Police from a five-star hotel in April 2017 on charges of taking money from Dhinakaran for bribing EC officials to get AIADMK’s ‘two-page’ symbol in the by-elections to the RK Nagar Assembly constituency in Tamil Nadu.
The 58-year-old AMMK general secretary has been asked to testify before the agency on April 8. If he testifies, his statement will be recorded under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
The Enforcement Directorate filed a case and investigated the money trail when it was alleged that Dhinakaran had paid Chandrasekhar to bribe the EC official.
During the ED case, there have been dramatic changes in the political landscape since the turbulent days after Jayalalithaa’s death. Now, Dhinakaran and Shashikala are outside rivals of Jayalalithaa, who is now with Panirselvam and Palaniswami.
(With PTI input)
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