Thiruvananthapuram: The Crime Branch is heading towards the conclusion that it was driver Arjun who had driven the car during the night of the fatal accident that claimed the lives of celebrated violinist Balabhaskar and his infant daughter.
Though the people who rushed to the spot, including a KSRTC driver claimed, in their statements, that Balabhaskar was on the driver’s seat, the probe team surmises that the statement of Nandu, a witness who could identify Balabhaskar on the spot, was more reliable. The musician’s wife Lakshmi too had stated that Arjun had driven the car.
Lakshmi has reiterated that Arjun had driven the car and that she was sitting in the front with her daughter. Balabhaskar was sleeping in the back seat.
Nandu’s statements validate this claim. He was returning from the airport, fetching his relatives, when he witnessed the accident. Nandu rushed to the spot and had even taken part in the rescue. Meanwhile, the probe team is awaiting the results of two significant scientific tests to ascertain who was driving the car at the time of the accident.
Balabhaskar and his family had stopped at a juice shop in Kollam and the CCTV visuals of this may provide vital evidence. However, the visuals recorded in the security camera installed in the opposite shop got automatically erased after 15 days.
The police team which investigated the case initially didn’t collect these images. The hard disk has been sent for scientific test to recover the old visuals from it.
The blood samples collected from each seat in the car too has been sent for forensic test. The samples on the driver’s seat would confirm who was on it when the accident had taken place.
Devasan has a different version
Another witness Devadasan who had rushed to the accident site on the day of the accident however, vouches that it was Balabhaskar who was driving the car. He heard the bang when he was out for his routine morning walk.
When he rushed to the spot, he saw that the car had rammed into the mahogany tree, just 10 meters away from his house. Initially, he couldn’t see anything clearly as the surrounding area was filled with smoke. The highway police reached the spot within 10 minutes.
The front doors couldn’t be opened as they were jammed in the force of the accident. The back door was opened using a crowbar brought from Devadasan’s house. He says that Balabhaskar was taken out of the car through the back seat.
Balabhaskar's bank accounts to be examined
The Crime Branch will investigate the late musician Balabhaskar's bank accounts for more clues on his friends' money laundering activities. The statement of Kalabhavan Sobhi will also be registered today.
Taking cue from the Crime Branch, the DRI will also take the statement of Balabhaskara's father K C Unni. Unni had stated that he suspected that Balabhaskar's friends including Prakashan Thambi had a hand in his son's 'alleged' murder. The suspicions were strenghtened when Thambi was arrested in a gold smuggling case.
Why the accident may not sabotage?
• Chances of sabotage are unlikely, since no other vehicle was involved in the accident.
• Pallipuram, where the accident took place, is an accident prone area.
• The driver, while negotiating a curve in excessive speed, may have lost control of the vehicle.
• The nature of the injuries on the victims’ bodies point towards accident.
• Eye witnesses claim that the car was on high speed.
Why the accident may have been sabotaged?
• Balabhaskar’s former aid Prakash Thambi later got arrested in a gold smuggling case.
• Balabhaskar’s father’s allegation that Prakash Thambi was the musician’s manager. He had expressed doubts over Thambi’s involvement in the accident.
• Eye witness claim that two unidentified men were spotted near the accident site.
• Absence of tyre marks on the road, usually formed when a car skids