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Maran alleges foul play in CBI arresting his aide, two others

Former telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran has alleged that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has put pressure on the three people it arrested Wednesday – one of hom is Maran’s additional private secretary – to complain against him in an alleged illegal telephone exchange connection case. 

Maran alleged that the CBI is trying to fix the case to satisfy the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the ideological parent of the so-called Sangh Parivar, of which the Bharatiya Janata Party is part. 

He was speaking to the media in the wake of the arrests in connection with the alleged allotment of over 300 telephone lines to Maran’s house, when he was the union telecom minister. The arrested persons include V Gowthaman, the additional private secretary of Maran at the time, along with S Kannan, chief technical officer and L S Ravi, electrician, both from Sun TV Network, run by Maran’s brother Kalanithi.

Maran said that the CBI had ill-treated the detainees and tried to force them to provide false statement implicating Maran; when they refused, he alleged, the agency arrested them, but promised to release them if they gave a statement against Maran. The persons arrested had already been co-operating with the investigation over the past several months, he said, adding that there was a political motive behind the case.

The former minister also claimed that there is no telephone exchange in his house, as alleged by CBI and that there is only one connection. He alleged that an RSS ideologue from the state has influenced the case and that CBI is trying to fix him in the case after eight years. Even if there is an issue, it should be treated as a civil case and not a criminal case, he said.

The CBI has been investigating the alleged allotment of the telephone lines, which is said to benefit the television network run by Kalanithi Maran. 

According to earlier reports, Dayanidhi Maran, along with K Bramhanathan and MP Veluswami, who were BSNL officials during the time, were named in the First Investigation Report filed in 2013.

The arrest of three people on Wednesday night was to further interogate them for evidence, said CBI officials. They would be produced in the Court on Thursday morning.

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