Thiruvananthapuram, Oct 10 (IANS) SNDP leader V. Natesan on Saturday denied charges that he was linked with the drowning of a popular religious leader who it now has been alleged was murdered.
Biju Ramesh, a leading businessman here, claimed late on Friday that Swami Swaswethikananda did not drown accidentally in 2002 but was actually murdered.
The Swami was found dead in the Aluva river near Kochi. Although it was described as a case of drowning, eyebrows were raised because the Swami was known to be a good swimmer.
On Saturday, Ramesh told the media that the Swami was killed by a man, Priyan.
“Priyan called me once then… He wanted to tell me not to pursue the Swami’s death as he (Priyan) would be in trouble.”
Ramesh quoted Priyan as saying that he committed the crime on Natesan’s instruction.
Natesan, the powerful Hindu Ezhava leader and general secretary of the Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana (SNDP) Sangom who has moved close to the BJP in recent times, denied the allegation.
Natesan called a press conference to say that Ramesh believed in character assassination.
“This case was previously probed from all aspects by the police. The court also dismissed the case as one caused due to drowning,” he said.
“I challenge the government to order a CBI probe into all the allegations now levelled against me,” Natesan said at Alappuzha.
Former chief minister and Marxist leader V.S. Achuthanandan on Saturday demanded a fresh probe into the Swami’s death.
Natesan has been making waves since he and his family called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month.
He had described the meeting as the beginning of a new alliance between the SNDP and the Kerala unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party.
If the new alliance clicks in the local body polls to be held next month, it would be repeated in the assembly elections of next year, he had said.
Since then, the CPI-M has been going hammer and tongs against Natesan as a SNDP-BJP tie-up is expected to eat into Left votes. Most SNDP supporters have always voted for the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M).
Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala said in Kochi that this case had been closed by the police and the court two years back.
“Now that new things have surfaced, if need be the concerned authorities can have a fresh look,” he said.