Thrissur: The Crime Branch team probing violinist Balabhaskar's death has received crucial evidence that alleviate some of the suspicions that hinted foul play.
Balabhaskar and his family were travelling from Thrissur to Thiruvananthapuram on September 25, 2018, when their car met with an accident at Pallipuram near Kerala capital. Balabhaskar and his daughter were killed in the accident.
Questions were raised on why the violinist chose to travel late into the night despite booking a hotel room in Thrissur. The purpose of the visit, and who organised it were also much debated upon.
However, the hotel staff have informed the police that Balabhaskar had intended to stay at the hotel only during the day time. He had made it clear while booking the room itself and the bill amount was adjusted accordingly, the hotel staff told the cops. This proves wrong the suspicion that Balabhaskar had abruptly changed his plans under someone’s compulsion and travelled during the night.
Questions were also raised on whether if Balabhaskar had visited Thrissur under someone's bidding. However, Balabhaskar himself had booked for a pooja at the Vadakkunnathan temple in Thrissur in the name of his daughter, it has now emerged. Though it was a three-day pooja, Balabhaskar and family only attended the rituals on the final day.
An Ayurvedic doctor from Palakkad and his wife, who are under a cloud of suspicion over the violinist’s death, were also present during the rituals. This had triggered suspicion that the pooja was held for the couple. Even this has been proved wrong in the investigation conducted by DySP K Harikrishnan.
Meanwhile, KSRTC bus driver C Aji, an eyewitness, in his statement to the police said that the car driver could have slept off, leading to the accident. The KSRTC driver claimed that he had seen Balabhaskar in the driving seat even though he admitted he did not know of the popular violinist before.
"At Attingal, Balabhaskar's car overtook my bus. There was also one white car ahead of Balabhaskar's vehicle. About 0.5km before the accident site, a container lorry went ahead of all three vehicles. The white car also took off. But then Balabhaskar's car suddenly veered from the left side of the road to the right, and hit a tree," Aji told the police.
As per the KSRTC driver's statements, no suspicious activities had happened during the journey from Attingal to Pallipuram. Though a white car is mentioned, it does not appear to be linked to the case.
Finances under the scanner
The Crime Branch is also looking into the financial deals of Balabhaskar and those linked to the case. The Crime Branch would send written requests to bank officials and collectors, seeking information about the investments and assets owned by Balabhaskar, his former programme coordinator Prakash Thamby, his acquaintance Vishnu, and an ayurvedic doctor's family in Palakkad.
It would also seek the help of Reserve Bank of India.