No foul play in Balabhaskar’s death: CBI

Probe agency says chauffeur’s negligence caused the accident

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has found no foul play in the death of violinist Balabhaskar. He had died in a car accident here on September 2018.

In a charge sheet filed in the CBI special court here, the agency has sought to put to rest the countless conspiracy theories that had sprang up in the wake of the popular musician’s tragic and untimely death.

The CBI found that rash and negligent driving by the chauffeur, Arjun Narayan, had caused the accident.

The driver possibly nodded off, causing the car to veer to the extreme of the carriageway near Pallippuram. The vehicle, which was accelerating well above the legal speed limit, rammed a tree abutting the road.

The crash occurred at the fag end of what was a long night drive from Thrissur. Balabhaskar’s two-year-old daughter, Tejaswini Bala, died on the spot. The musician died days later at the hospital.

Balabhaskar’s wife Lakshmi and car driver, Arjun, had sustained severe injuries in the incident and were hospitalised for long.

The CBI also found the driver had attempted to shift the blame for the accident by wrongly stating that Balabhaskar was at the wheel at the collision time.

The CBI found that television actor Soby George Kalabhavan had “infused” the accident with conspiracy theories.His averments had misled the police and caused deep scepticism among the public about Balabhaskar’s death.

The CBI has booked him under sections 182 and 193 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for giving false information to a public servant, adducing fake evidence and fabricating proof.

The CBI said the actor had attempted to link Balabhaskar’s death to various high-profile gold smuggling cases that had caught the public’s imagination. It did not help investigators that the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) had separately booked two of the musician’s aides, both part of Balabhaskar’s entourage, on gold smuggling charges.

Balabhaskar’s parents had sought a CBI enquiry to investigate whether Arjun had any link with gold smuggling. They told the CBI that they suspected some persons had orchestrated the car accident for financial gain. The CBI found no evidence to substantiate their suspicions.

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