Kochi: A forensic examination has revealed the presence of toxic pesticide Chlorpyrifos in the body of actor and singer Kalabhavan Mani who died on March 6.
Mani, 45, who acted in 200 films in Malayalam and other languages, suffered from a liver ailment and was admitted on March 4 to a hospital in Kochi in a serious condition. He died in the hospital on March 6.
Actor and singer Kalabhavan Mani
Soon after his death, speculation surfaced that it was not a natural death as the hospital authorities reported presence of a chemical in his body.
On Thursday, Mani's brother Ramakrishnan said he suspected foul play behind the death of the actor.
"I suspect all those who had kept Mani company the day before he died," Ramakrishnan is reported in the media to have said.
Mani allegedly consumed liquor in the company of some friends in his outhouse near Chalakkudy in Thrissur district before taking ill and being taken to hospital.
Ramakrishnan suspects that those keeping the actor company tried to destroy evidence by cleaning the place where they consumed liquor before anyone from the family arrived at the spot.
He also dispelled the suggestion that things had been going wrong in Mani's family life.
The police have sealed the actor's outhouse and started a probe into his death.
"I was informed of Mani being admitted to a hospital by his brother only the next day. We want the truth to come out. He was one person who came up in life through hard work and enjoyed everything... he will never ever commit suicide," said the deceased actor's wife Nimmi.
She also denied reports that there was discord in their family life.
A few days ago the police probe team had taken into custody three of Mani's close aides who were with him when he fell ill at the outhouse.
Popular TV artiste Sabu was questioned and then let off. He was reportedly present at the outhouse, but left the place before Mani fell ill.
"I was in Chalakkudy for a shoot that day and after, along with Jaffer Idukki. Another actor and myself visited the outhouse of Mani. There were quite a few people at that time and I left after some time," Sabu told media persons on Friday.
The police also suspect that all is not well because when they first reached the outhouse, the place had been cleaned up.
"He always lived for his friends even at the expense of his family... Why did they do this? We want the truth to come out and how this happened," said Ramakrishnan.