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Swami's death: Govt seeks crime branch report

Swamis death: Govt seeks crime branch report

Thiruvananthapuram: With a controversy raging over the death of Swami Saswathikananda, former head of Sivagiri Mutt (in 2002), state Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala Monday sought a crime branch report into the charges and said a decision on further probe would be taken after getting it.

He told reporters here that the crime branch had been directed to find out if there was 'anything new' in the charges levelled by by Kerala State Bar Hotel Owners' Association Working President, Bibi Ramesh.

"A decision on a further probe into the incident will be taken after getting the crime branch report," Chennithala said.

The minister's statement came in the background of calls by several leaders, including Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee President V M Sudheeran to 'bring out the truth' behind the incident.

Earlier in the day, Chennithala had a meeting with Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Sudheeran on various issues, including this one.

Ramesh had triggered a row with his charge that Swami was done to death by SNDP head Vallpally Natesan and his son Thushar.

Swami's sister Shantakumari had alleged that it was not a natural death and demanded that the persons connected with the charges be subjected to polygraph tests.

Swami drowned in Periyar river at Aluva on July 1, 2002.

Natesan, General Secretary of Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana, an organisation of the numerically strong Ezhava community in Kerala, had rejected the charges on Oct 10 and said he was ready to face any probe, including by CBI.

The Kerala High Court had also rejected a plea by Swami's family for a CBI probe, holding that the crime branch probe was proceeding in the right direction.

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