Thiruvananthapuram: As the death of violinist Balabhaskar in a car accident intrigues investigators over his suspected links to gold smugglers it has emerged that his aide Prakash Thampi was the first person to ask the police about the valuables present in the ill-fated vehicle.
Meanwhile, Manorama Online has gained possession of the pictures showing gold ornaments and cash which were found in the violinist’s vehicle after the accident that claimed the lives of the musician and his daughter last year.
According to Crime Branch officials, Balabhaskar’s car had Rs 2 lakh in cash and 44 sovereign gold. The gold and cash were kept in two bags in the car. The valuables included lockets, chains, bangles, gold coins and finger rings. The cash was in bundles of Rs 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 2000, though most of them were of 500 and 2000 denominations.
A team of police personnel engaged in highway patrol were the earliest to reach the accident spot. Later, the local Mangalapuram police checked the vehicle and shifted the items to the police station. After the police counted the money, they recorded it in the register.
Thampi reached the police station early next morning introducing himself as the musician’s manager and made enquiries about the gold. Relatives of Balabhaskar’s wife Lakshmi were also present on the occasion. Balabhaskar and Lakshmi were fighting for their lives in hospital at that time. Their daughter had already died.
After confirming that the visitors were relatives of the musician, the police returned the bags, ornaments and cash. The details were handed over to Attingal DySP Anil. The DySP gave a report saying that there was nothing suspicious about the death.
The Crime Branch which is probing the case revealed the interest shown by Thampi about the valuables in the car. He was recently arrested over his links to a gold smuggling racket. Thampi is now in remand. Harikrishnan, Crime Branch DySP, is in charge of the probe. The documents regarding the jewellery are in the possession of the Crime Branch.
Balabhaskar’s vehicle met with an accident at Pallippuram in the early hours of September 25 last year. The musician was returning to the state capital from Guruvayur temple when the tragedy occurred.
The probe was handed over to the Crime Branch based on a complaint filed by the musician’s father Unni. Unni had claimed that Balabhaskar’s death raised several suspicions.
Months after the accident, the spotlight is back on it after Thampi was made an accused in the smuggling case recently.