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Accused in solar scam remanded in Kerala

Our Bureau Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on June 18, 2013

Biju Radhakrishnan, prime accused in the solar scam with suspected links to personal staff of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, has been remanded to judicial custody by a judicial magistrate court.

Radhakrishnan was apprehended on Monday from a hideout in Coimbatore by a team of the Kollam crime branch, one of the several teams which had farmed out to Tamil Nadu on his trail.

SWINDLING

He, along with estranged partner Saritha Nair, is accused of defrauding crores of rupees from different people for purportedly setting up solar power plants/farms in Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

The case shot into infamy after evidence suggesting the duo having maintained telephone links with a number of high profile people, including the high and mighty in the government, surfaced.

The State Assembly adjourned on successive days after the Opposition stalled the House seeking resignation of the Chief Minister, which was separately echoed by stalwarts of the CPM.

On Tuesday, Oommen Chandy made it clear to newspersons here that he was in no mood to give in to the Opposition demand since he was not even remotely connected with the case.

NOT IN ORDER

He admitted he may have made a judgemental error in being not able to keep his office in strict order, but had made amends by removing two of his staff for suspected foul play.

The State government had not committed any favour to the solar power company floated by the accused, he said. Given this, where was the need for him to resign, he wondered.

The Chief Minister also sought to rubbish a claim by a news channel suggesting that the State Government had cleared the company for a show at the Emerging Kerala Global Connect event held last year.

NO ENDORSEMENT

He had neither endorsed the company nor given any letter to facilitate its participation in the event held to deliberate on investment ideas for the State.

Even as he was meeting newspersons in his chamber, the police in full riot gear were fighting pitched battles with hundreds of protesters belonging to different parties/organisations marching one after the other to the heavily barricaded main gate of the Secretariat.

Among these were Students Federation of India and Democratic Youth Federation of India, the student and youth winds of the CPM, and the Yuva Morcha of the BJP.

vinson.kurian@thehindu.co.in

Published on June 18, 2013

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