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Solar scam: TV actress Salu Menon taken into custody

Source: PTI
July 05, 2013 19:22 IST
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Television actress and danseuse Salu Menon was taken into custody on Friday in connection with the solar panel scam that has rocked Kerala and brought the office of Chief Minister Oomen Chandy under a cloud. The development is of significance since Salu has been in the news ever since the scam broke out last month for her alleged links with Biju Radhakrishnan, the prime accused in the case.

Salu was picked up from her home at Changanassery near Kottayam, the police said, adding she was taken to nearby Chengannur for questioning by the special investigation team headed by Additional Director General of Police Hemachandran.

The scam, pertaining to fraudulent deals running into huge sums pushed by Saritha Nair and accomplice Biju, has brought the office of Chandy under a cloud with the arrest of one of his close personal aides and removal of two others from his staff.

Ever since the scam broke out putting the Chandy government on the defensive, the name of Salu has figured for her suspected links with Biju and a magistrate court at Thrissur on Friday directed police to file a first information report against her.

She had been under scanner right from the start and the investigators came across evidence that pointed to her allegedly helping Biju escape from the state, sources said.

Biju, also wanted in connection with the death of his wife in suspicious circumstances besides being the co-accused in the solar cheating case along with Saritha, was arrested from Coimbatore a few days back.

Despite her protestations of innocence, phone call details and pictures showing Salu's links with Biju have been beamed by local media.

The opposition Left Democratic Front had also been pressing for her arrest after it was found that several top politicians including Home Minister Thiruvanchur Radhakrishnan had visited her home or the dance school she runs.

The scam also brought to fore the factional feud in the Congress in the state as the telephone call details gathered by investigators showed that several ministers and political leaders had made calls to Saritha, apart from getting frequent calls from her.

Radhakrishnan and other ministers, however, had dismissed the charge as baseless holding that as public figures and ministers they would get hundreds of calls a day and it would be impossible to ascertain the identity of all those who call them.

Both Saritha and Biju have been arrested and remanded to custody for allegedly cheating several persons of huge sums of money by offering them solar energy solutions.

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