'Margamkali' judge's brother demands fair probe into his suicide, calls him 'victim of betrayal'

P N Shaji. Photo: Special arrangement

Kannur: A day after the suicide of P N Shaji, a dance teacher and judge of the 'Margamkali' competition at Kerala University's arts fest, his brother has come up with serious allegations of foul play behind the Kerala university arts fest. Thiruvananthapuram cantonment police had arrested Shaji for taking bribe to tamper with the 'Margamkali' competition results. Anilkumar, Shaji's brother alleged that betrayal of someone close to him led to his suicide.

Amid this, Shaji's family and friends demanded a fair probe to uncover the reason that forced Shaji to end his life. He was found dead in his room in the house at Chovva near Kannur on Wednesday evening.

The police arrested Shaji and two others on Saturday for allegedly tampering with the result of the competition after accepting bribes from the intermediaries of the participants. Shaji was later released on bail. According to his family, he was upset since the arrest. Shaji who reached home on Monday told his family members that someone had trapped him in the incident. In his suicide note also, he claimed innocence and rubbished the charges of accepting bribe for tampering with the result.

"Shaji told me that someone in the field and very close to him betrayed him. He was in tears when he was explaining to us to prove his innocence after returning home from Thiruvananthapuram.  The scars on his face proved that someone manhandled him at the art fest venue.  He had never been confronted with such an incident in his life. We need a fair investigation into the incident and justice for my brother.  The actual culprits in the case should be brought before law and no one ever should experience such a trauma",  Anilkumar, brother of Shaji told Onmanorama. 

The persons who have known Shaji for years are also not ready to accept the allegations against him.  K C Nithin, a Margamkali teacher who brought three of his teams to the arts festival, said that Shaji's demise shocked him.  

"I don't believe someone like Shaji could have tampered with the result because he was such an innocent person who was very reserved. I don't know what exactly had happened there. I left the place just after the programme ended. However, the judgment seemed unfair because the first prize-winning team had made errors in their performance. I don't think a single judge can influence the result. I have been working in this field for the last 15 years. Shaji was not involved in any such cases before," Nithin added.

Shaji, a popular dance teacher was a judge for many such competitions.

Meanwhile, KPCC President K Sudhakaran alleged that the SFI had contacted Shaji before the programme and threatened him to give prizes to their recommended team.

The comments posted here/below/in the given space are not on behalf of Onmanorama. The person posting the comment will be in sole ownership of its responsibility. According to the central government's IT rules, obscene or offensive statement made against a person, religion, community or nation is a punishable offense, and legal action would be taken against people who indulge in such activities.