Balabhaskars death: four agree to CBIs lie detector test

 thehindu.com  09/16/2020 17:48:15 

Four persons questioned earlier by the State police in connection with the controversy surrounding the death of musician Balabhaskar in a car accident in questionable circumstances in 2018 told a court here on Wednesday that they were willing to undergo a lie detector test at the behest of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

They include Arjun Radhakrishnan, the driver of the car involved in the fatal accident; Kalabhavan Soby George, a stage artist; and Vishnu Somasundaram and Prakash Thampi, both former managers of the Balabhaskars music troupe.

The CBI has opened a criminal inquiry into the death of violinist Balabhaskar in a suspicious car accident here in September 2018.

Parents sceptical

The agency told its special court here on Wednesday that the parents of the musician were deeply sceptical about the conclusion of the Kerala police that Balabhaskar and his two-year-old daughter Tejaswani Bala had died in a typical road accident. The police had also ruled out the question of foul play.

Balabhaskars wife Lakshmi and Arjun had sustained severe injuries in the accident and were hospitalised for long. The Kerala police had said in a court filing in November 2019 that the accident occurred when Arjun, who was at the wheel, nodded off.

The car veered hard to the extreme right of the carriageway and dashed against a tree abutting the road. The family was headed home from Thrissur and the long night drive had fatigued the driver and the passengers, the State police had said.

However, Arjuns subsequent insistence that Balabhaskar was at the wheel at the time of the accident added an element of ambiguity to the incident.

Eyewitness statements by passers-by were also contradictory and often misleading. Moreover, the musicians immense popularity as a youth icon had spawned countless conspiracy theories.

The parents of Balabhaskar petitioned Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan for a CBI inquiry into the death of their son in 2019.

They pointed out that the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) had booked two of the musicians aides, both part of Balabhaskars entourage when he travelled abroad for stage programmes, on the charge of having smuggled gold in bulk through the international airport here early in 2018.

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