Letter row: Forensic scrutiny of five computers in Mayor Arya's office

CB officials want to check whether the letter which appeared in the Mayor’s name and addressed to CPM' Thiruvananthapuram district secretary Anavoor Nagappan was prepared on these computers. Photo: Manorama.

Thiruvananthapuram: The probe into the letter row linked to the Thiruvananthapuram Municipal Corporation is picking up steam after an apparent lull over the last few weeks.

The Crime Branch has seized five computers from the office of Thiruvananthapuram Mayor Arya Rajendran and handed over the hard disks to the Forensic Lab for a detailed examination.

According to Crime Branch officials, they want to check whether the letter which appeared in the Mayor’s name and addressed to CPM' Thiruvananthapuram district secretary Anavoor Nagappan was prepared on these computers.

A political uproar ensued as it came to light that the letter sought Nagappan's recommendation of CPM supporters for appointment as temporary employees for various posts in the Thiruvananthapuram Municipal Corporation.

Earlier, the Crime Branch had conducted a preliminary probe based on a directive from the Chief Minister, who had received a complaint from the Mayor.

The seizure of the computers is part of the follow-up investigation.

Meanwhile, the Crime Branch has also sent the mobile phone of D R Anil, who resigned as the chairperson of the Public Works Standing Committee of the Corporation the other day, for forensic examination.

He had earlier admitted to drafting another letter to the CPM district secretary seeking short-list of candidates for recruitment. However, Anil has denied any knowledge of the letter purportedly sent by the Mayor.

The Crime Branch action comes amidst allegations that it is going slow on the probe into the letter row.

At the same time, the Crime Branch has been accused of failing to record the statement of Nagappan and other CPM leaders in a proper manner.

Even though Crime Branch officials claim that the investigation is on track, its efforts to trace the original letter have been in vain.

The Vigilance Department, which also conducted a probe, later closed the case citing failure to find the original letter and pointing out that no appointments were made based on the Mayor’s purported letter to Nagappan.

Anil hands over resignation letter
D R Anil submitted his letter of resignation from the post of Chairman of the Public Works Standing Committee to Corporation Secretary Binu Francis at 12.40 pm on Saturday.

The opposition UDF and BJP had called off their agitation at the Corporation Office over the letter controversy after a conciliatory meeting convened by the Ministers concerned and Anil’s resignation was part of the agreement.

The Public Works Standing Committee has 12 members and the process to elect the next chairperson will start after informing the Election Commission and the District Collector, who is the returning officer. Among the front-runners for the post are senior CPM leaders D Ramesan and Medayil Vikraman of the Kazhakoottam Area Committee.

However, as Anil is a member of the Vanchiyoor Area Committee of the party, L S Saju could become the Chairman if the party decides to appoint another person from Vanchiyoor.

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