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Violinist Balabhaskar death: Police to question man arrested in smuggling case

Violinist Balabhaskar death: Police to question man arrested in smuggling case

Thiruvananthapuram: The Crime Branch team probing the death of violinist Balabhaskar will question Prakash Thampi, who was arrested by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) in a gold smuggling case.

Thampi was the programme coordinator of Balabhaskar’s shows and, according to the probe team, also the last person to call Balabhaskar before his car met with the accident. Vishnu, another associate of the musician, is on the run.

Balabhaskar, 40, was travelling with his wife and two-year-old daughter in the city, when their car met with an accident in the wee hours of September 25 last year. While the daughter died on the spot, Balabhaskar passed away on October 2. His wife and driver escaped with injuries.

While the musician’s father C.K.Unni has alleged foul play in the accident, one of his relatives, in a Facebook post recently, questioned his wife’s silence on Thampi and Vishnu.

According to sources in the know of things, the DRI officials will also meet Unni to take his statement. “I have doubts over the manner in which my son died. I am told that the DRI officials will be meeting me. One thing I know is that both Thampi and Vishnu were my son’s managers,” said Unni.

Though the police initiated a probe in the tragedy on Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s orders, the case took a new turn last month, when the DRI officials arrested a Dubai-based beautician Sareena Shaji smuggling 25 kg gold from Oman at the Thiruvananthapuram airport.

Her arrest led to several more arrests, including that of Thampi as well as a senior Customs officer at the airport.

The police team is still clueless as to who was at the wheel of the car when the accident took place. While his wife claimed it was the driver, the driver said the musician himself was driving the vehicle.

On Saturday, stage artiste Kalabhavan Soby told TV channels that he saw two men suspiciously moving around the accident site when he passed through the area soon after the tragedy. Soby said he would be glad to give a statement to the probe team.




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