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Homechevron_rightIndiachevron_rightDhinakaran questioned...

Dhinakaran questioned in EC official bribery case

Dhinakaran questioned in EC official bribery case

New Delhi: AIADMK (Amma) leader TTV Dhinakaran was Saturday questioned by the police here for close to seven hours over an alleged attempt to bribe an Election Commission official for retaining the 'two leaves' party symbol and the related money trail.

It is learnt that an ACP ranked investigating officer quizzed Dhinakaran, the nephew of jailed AIADMK chief Sasikala and his associates.

"Dhinakaran was given a questionnaire that had queries about the money trail, his association with Sukesh (Chandrasekar, the middleman who was arrested) and whether he has met any Election Commission official," a senior police official said.

Dhinakaran's lawyers were not allowed to accompany him during the questioning by the Delhi Police's Crime Branch which began after 3 PM at its Chanakyapuri Inter State Cell office and went on till 10.15 PM amid tight security.

His call logs, WhatsApp messages and SMSes were also examined, police said.

Dhinakaran told police that he will appear for further questioning at 2 PM tomorrow.

Throughout the interrogation, Dhinakaran didn't accept that he knows Sukesh, sources said.

Tomorrow, he is likely to be grilled and confronted with facts about the money trail and certain call recordings that the Crime Branch has in its possession, police sources said.

Crime Branch officers carried out cross-examination of Sukesh and the leader.

Dhinakaran's PA Janardhan was questioned about the leader's association with Sukesh and whether the leader had made any phone calls to clinch a deal, sources said.

His longtime friend Mallikarjuna was also quizzed to get more details about the case. Sources claimed that ever since the FIR was lodged against the leader, his friend has been accompanying him.

They had come under scanner after the arrest of alleged middleman Sukesh. Since then, Dhinakaran has maintained he does not know Sukesh and has never met him.

There was heavy security outside the office and mediapersons weren't allowed to enter the premises. Even local residents were asked to show identity cards before entering the area that houses the office.

Nobody saw Dhinakaran exiting from the premises as he was taken through a back gate.

Earlier in the day, Dhinakaran was accosted by reporters at the Delhi airport when he arrived there. From the airport, he was accompanied by the police to a five-star hotel in Lutyens Delhi where he had lunch and consulted his lawyers.

When quizzed whether the case was part of a political conspiracy or whether his arrest is imminent, he told reporters, "I am here to attend the inquiry. I don't know."

The controversial AIADMK leader had earlier been served summons by Delhi Police at his Chennai residence in the case.

Dhinakaran, who was appointed as Deputy General Secretary by Sasikala, has been isolated in his party amid moves to merge rival factions led by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E K Palaniswami and his predecessor O Panneerselvam.

A powerful section of the ruling AIADMK (Amma) recently revolted against Sasikala-Dhinakaran leadership. The development came after Panneerselvam, who is leading the rival faction, demanded ouster of Sasikala and Dhinakaran as a condition for the merger.

Dhinakaran later announced he would stay away from party affairs and that he could be removed only by Sasikala.

Sasikala is at present serving a four-year jail term in Bengaluru in a disproportionate assets case.

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