Idol wing case: Ponnar Radhakrishnan bats for Venu Srinivasan


Chennai: Union Minister of State for Finance and Shipping Pon Radhakrishnan who had earlier opposed the state government’s decision to transfer the idol wing cases to the CBI has demanded an “impartial” investigation leading to the arrest of “real culprits” in idol theft cases.

The Union Minister also came out in support of industrialist and TVS Motor Company Ltd Chairman Venu Srinivasan, who apprehending arrest by the idol wing police, sought anticipatory bail. Mr. Srinivasan is the chairman, board of trustees of Srirangam Sri Ranganathar Swamy temple. 

“It is very crucial to trace out and bring the culprits involved in temple idol smuggling cases to book. Under no circumstances the real culprits should be left unpunished. Initiating cases on the innocent will not only divert the attention but also turn to the advantage of the culprits,” Mr. Radhakrishnan said on Sunday. The general perception among people, Mr. Radhakrishnan said, was that Srinivasan had spent his own money for improving the temples besides bettering the lives of the poor. “Many devotees wonder if accusing a person like Srinivasan was meant to divert the investigation or help the real culprits,” the Union Minister added.

Party president Dr. Tamilisai Soundararajan and state general secretary Vanathi Srinivasan too had expressed similar sentiments. The BJP is not alone. Several other political leaders too have voiced in support of Mr. Venu Srinivasan against whom a FIR has been lodged in an idol missing case.

Backing him, CPI leader R. Mutharasan, said it was astonishing that Srinivasan, the head of TVS Motor, was being charged in a temple idol theft case. He sought to know on whose instance Srinivasan’s name had been included in the FIR.

MDMK chief Vaiko had demanded dropping of Srinivasan’s name from the FIR. “Dragging his name in the idol theft case is unpardonable and an attempt to tarnish the image of a person who had not done anything even minimally wrong,” he said.