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Last Updated Thursday November 09 2017 09:07 AM IST

Saritha's letter, men with guns, sex and solar dust

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Saritha S Nair Saritha S Nair. File photo

Kerala was literally under a 'solar eclipse' when Saritha S. Nair, a self-proclaimed entrepreneur, came out accusing the then chief minister Oommen Chandy, his cabinet colleagues, and legislators of having 'exploited' her after promising help to promote her company Team Solar, 2013.

The media in the state gave saturation coverage to the high-scoring tenth-grader-turned scamster who went up to wield considerable influence in the corridors of power. Under scrutiny was Saritha's love life, her companion and partner-in-crime Biju Radhakrishnan, her connections with politicians, and her luxurious life.

An impeccably dressed Saritha Nair was securing prime time viewership for news channels as shutterbugs zoomed on her during her visits to courts.

During her remand, she purportedly wrote a letter listing the names of those who 'sexually exploited' her. The 21-page letter was reportedly cut short to four after a 'person visited her in jail in Thiruvananthapuram,' going by the statement of then director-general of police (prisons) Alexander Jacob.

The officer further told the commission that the jail authorities received 150 applications, including from politicians, to see Saritha Nair on her first day in the Thiruvananthapuram jail. Alexander Jacob also told the commission that it would be 'taken aback' if the names were revealed.

Men with guns

He said, on July 23, 2013, a jeep-borne, gun-wielding gang landed up at the jail gate. The officer said they drove away when the jail guards dialled the police control room for help.

A sum too small

The investigation teams had pegged the total 'worth of scam' at Rs. 10 crore (US$1.6 million). The loss to exchequer was even lesser but a vitriolic protest by Left organisations which highlighted the 'influence of a woman of questionable character' on the government put then chief minister Oommen Chandy in deep trouble. The LDF protest was too high-decibel that the UDF could not even secure political advantage out of a damning CAG indictment of the LDF in the multi-crore Vizhinjam deep-sea container terminal project.

Saritha's affidavit before the Justice Sivarajan Commission, which probed the scam, said she had given Rs. 1.9 crore to Oommen Chandy through the latter's man Thomas Kuruvilla in New Delhi, in two installments. She said the money was taken and 'no help extended.'

In the meantime a video clip, which purportedly contained nude images of the accused surfaced on social media platforms. Unconfirmed news reports then said Saritha had owned it up, stating that it was for private use and some police officers had let it out wantonly.

The Sivarajan Commission report has kicked up solar dust yet again with the chief minister diligently choosing the Vengara poll day for some political-score settling. Interestingly, the BJP distanced itself from the whole issue and chose not to issue a statement.

Read more: Latest Kerala news | Oppn cries foul over Kerala govt's move to accept Solar Commission findings

The opinions expressed here do not reflect those of Malayala Manorama. Legal action under the IT Act will be taken against those making derogatory and obscene statements.

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