Chennai: AIADMK leader and former agriculture minister "Agri" S.S. Krishnamoorthy has been arrested in connection with the suicide of an engineer in the agricultural department and sent to custody by a court in Tamil Nadu's Tirunelveli, police said on Sunday.
According to police, Krishnamoorthy was summoned to the Crime Branch-Crime Investigation Department (CB-CID) office on Saturday night for questioning in connection with the suicide last month of of S. Muthukumarasamy and later arrested.
He was later taken to Tirunelveli, around 650 km from here.
Police also arrested Senthil, another engineer in the agriculture department.
It was alleged that Muthukumarasamy was pressured by Krishnamoorthy's office to appoint certain people as drivers in the department.
Based on the call records, Senthil had called Muthukumarasamy several times and also offered the deceased's son a job.
On March 8, Krishnamoorthy was dropped from the Tamil Nadu cabinet after political parties demanded his sacking for his alleged connection with Muthukumarasamy's suicide.
Reacting to the arrests, Muthukumarasamy's younger son Sethuram Vinoth told IANS: "Some step has been taken. We will have to see how the case progresses."
He said his father did not share his tension even when he had been here prior to his death.
"Even my mother was not aware of many things that are coming out now," said Vinoth who is with a software company here.
However opposition parties reiterated their demand for a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
Reacting to the development, DMK treasurer M.K. Stalin said: "The CB-CID's arrest of Agri Krishnamoorthy smacks of a cover up."
Stalin said that Krishnamoorthy in an interview to a private television had claimed that Jayalalithaa is aware of all his deeds.
"When the person who controls the state government is part of this crime how can we expect a fair investigation by the state police? We demand a CBI investigation to bring to justice all the people behind the scam which claimed the life of a honest officer," Stalin posted on his Facebook page.
Terming the arrest as an eye-wash, PMK founder S. Ramadoss said the government tried to destroy the evidence and block the information about the case without trying to nab the true culprits.
He said the police also spread rumours through media that Muthukumaraswamy committed suicide only to avoid enquiry by the Income Tax department.
"And the official's family was threatened to explain that there is no connection between minister and the suicide," he said.
"The arrest is only an eyewash, and it will not take the investigation forward. This is only a step to save the people who are in a big position," Ramadoss said, adding that if the CBI probes the case the "entire truth about the money earned by the former minister and with whom he has shared it will be out".
"It is only to prevent the case going to the CBI that the arrest drama has been staged. This is not enough. CBI alone can bring out the truth in the case and therefore it has to be handed over them," he said.
Muthukumaraswamy committed suicide on February 20 by throwing himself in front of a running train.