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TN: 'Agricultural Engineer who committed suicide was under pressure'

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Chennai, March 23: Muthukumaraswamy, the assistant executive engineer in the agriculture department in Tirunelveli, who allegedly committed suicide on Friday, Feb 20, was reportedly under pressure, M Karunagaran, the district collector told Indian Express on Monday, March 23.

As per the IE report, the collector said that Muthukumaraswamy had approached him to complain about the alleged pressure on him from the agriculture minister S S Krishnamurthy's secretaries to pay a bribe of Rs 14 lakh.

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A close friend of Muthukumaraswamy, who lives in Chennai, told IE that the late officer met him on Saturday, Feb 14 and told that he was in trouble after he had appointed seven drivers to the department.

He also alleged that the minister's secretaries threatened him that he wouldn't be allowed to retire if he didn't pay.

Meanwhile, his 23-year-old son Sethuram said, "I do not even know if I should fight for justice. The only thing I can tell you is that my father had no problems at home."

The official allegedly committed suicide by jumping in front of a train as he was reportedly unable to bear pressure exerted by "powers that be" over the issue of appointments to certain posts.

TN Agriculture Minister dropped from cabinet

Two days after he was stripped of key party posts in the AIADMK, Agriculture Minister 'agri' S S Krishnamoorthy was on Saturday, March 7 dropped from the state cabinet by Chief Minister O Panneerselvam.

Krishnamoorthy, earlier dropped from the cabinet before being re-inducted, was on March 5 stripped of key party posts by AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa.

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DMK's reaction

"The former minister Agri Krishnamoorthy is the main reason for the suicide of agriculture department officer Muthu Kumaraswamy' said DMK president M Karunanidhi.

On Saturday, March 21, DMK MP Kanimozhi said she would raise in Parliament the 'inaction' of the ruling AIADMK into the death of an executive engineer of the agro engineering department, who allegedly committed suicide.

She stated this after the visiting his next of kin and offering her condolences.

Later speaking to reporters she suggested that all political parties in Tamil Nadu unite in demanding firm action action into the death of the executive engineer.

She said though the Tamil nadu Government had ordered a CB-CID enquiry into the death of Muthukumaraswamy and the agriculture minister had been removed in this connection, no specific reason had been given for it.

DMDK, AAP demand CBI probe

The DMDK president Vijayakanth has insisted that the CBI should question former minister Agri Krishnamoorthy in Muthukumaraswamy suicide issue.

Tamil Nadu AAP cadres have also demanded CBI probe into the Nellai Agri officer suicide case.

Meanwhile, the Crime Branch Criminal Investigation Department (CB-CID) is likely to arrest six persons, sources said.

Nellai DIG, SP and Tuticorin SP have been transferred in the backdrop of Agri officer Muthukumarasamy suicide case.

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