Margamkali judge's suicide: Second note hints at conspiracy for selecting winners

P N Shaji. Photo: Special arrangement

Kannur: Relatives of the late Shaji Poothatta, a dance teacher who was a judge at the recent controversial Kerala University arts festival recovered another note from his room and handed it over to the police.

The note scribbled on the reverse side of a brochure, was found on Saturday night. The writing on the brochure is rather vague, but it has the names of several people, including the other judges at the arts festival.

Earlier, the police recovered Shaji's suicide note from the room where he died by suicide. The latest note is written in handwriting which is similar to the first one. The police, however, did not comment on the contents of the second note, which was handed over to them on Sunday.

The second note said, “There are 34 members in the James Group. Aged mother. Mar.  Shibu said the prize should go to Padmakumar and others. Have sent the biodata. Sibi said that he would call. Informed Padmakumar about the programme committee forwarded to James.”

Note recovered from Shaji's room.

The note mentioned some names, “James, Padmakumar, Nidhin, Jomet, Satheesan Thaliparamba.”

It also included a phone number.

According to Shaji’s brother Anil Kumar, there are 34 members in a WhatsApp group created by James. ‘Aged mother’ is a code word, he claimed. “The cryptic word ‘Mar’ might be an abbreviation of the ‘Margamkali’ competition which Shaji judged,” said Anil Kumar.

“Shaji probably received instructions from somebody to select two teams for the first prize,” he added.

“My brother could have written this note on the day he reached his house in Kannur from Thiruvananthapuram, where the Kerala University arts festival was held. He prepared this note with the intention of committing suicide. However, I have no clear idea about the persons named in the note or their connections with Shaji. They might be somebody involved with the university arts festival or its judges,” said Anil Kumar.

Meanwhile, Satheesan, who is among the names included in the suicide note, said that he was acquainted with Shaji for several years. A dance trainer at Thaliparamba in Kannur, Satheesan said that he had called Shaji after hearing the news about the bribery allegations against the judges at the arts festival. “Shaji told me that my number was lost from his phone. He probably wrote my name on the note at that time,” said Satheesan.

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.