National

Prime accused in Kerala solar scam arrested

Our Bureau Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on June 17, 2013

Biju Radhakrishnan, prime accused in the solar scam that has roiled the office of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, was nabbed from Coimbatore on Monday.

The arrest was recorded by Kollam crime branch, one of the three teams that had fanned out into Tamil Nadu after Biju went missing from his home State.

The crime branch was aided by the Q-branch of the Tamil Nadu Police in tracking down Radhakrishnan through calls made on the mobile phone.

He had called from his hideout in Tamil Nadu to give his version of the case to a couple of news channels.

His accomplice and estranged wife Saritha Nair had already been arrested after being linked with two personal staff of the Chief Minister.

Both have been removed, but the matter has plunged the State Assembly and roads leading to it into protests and pitched battles with the police.

Monday saw youth activists of the opposition CPI(M) take out a massive protest demonstration, leading to clash with the police and teargas shelling.

OPPOSITION DEMAND

The Opposition has been vociferously demanding the resignation of the Chief Minister since his office had been exposed in the ‘shameful controversy.’

Meanwhile, ruling Congress-led United Democratic Front, in a meeting held here affirmed its faith in the leadership of Oommen Chandy. It felt that there was no need for him to give in to the demand of the Opposition to stand down since his hands were clean.

A police team led by an additional director-general of police had been appointed to inquire into the matter but the Opposition would have none of it.

Both V.S. Achuthanandan, leader of Opposition, and Pinarayi Vijayan, State secretary of CPI(M), have asked Chandy to resign and face judicial probe.

Meanwhile, Biju Radhakrishnan was being brought to Perumbavoor in Ernakulam for being produced before a local court.

The police estimate that the prime accused in the case may have been involved in financial fraud involving at least Rs 10 crore.

He and Saritha Nair had forced a number of people to part with money on the false promise of delivering solar and wind power equipment and even setting up plants in Tamil Nadu.

vinson.kurian@thehindu.co.in

Published on June 17, 2013

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