Death of notorious don Sridhar Dhanapalan has not stopped the Tamil Nadu police from digging deeper into the cases that were filed against him. Looking for more clues, they have now detained the don's confidante and cook Devendran who was with him during the last days of the don in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Sridhar had reportedly absconded to Dubai in 2013, but continued to run the land grabbing and extortion nexus that he had started in Kancheepuram from there. He allegedly called landowners and traders from there and forced them to sell the property at the price he demanded.
Incidentally, in 2016, the Enforcement Directorate attached more than 126 properties belonging to him and his family members in connection with a money laundering case. According to a report by the Deccan Chronicle, only his family members knew that he shifted base to Cambodia by the end of 2016. A police officer said, "Sridhar trusted Devendran and used to eat food cooked only by him."
According to a report by the Times of India, he had been constantly on the move with the don between Dubai, Malaysia and Cambodia and was also at his bedside when he died at the Khema Hospital in Cambodia after consuming cyanide.
He also said that a look out notice had also been issued on his name as he was close to the criminal. To avoid being intercepted by the police, Devendran allegedly flew to Bengaluru, instead of Chennai and travelled to Tamil Nadu by road. A special team caught him in Kancheepuram and detained him.
Police said that though he has not been named in any of the criminal cases involving Sridhar, he is still expected to shed some light on his activities when he was alive. Sridhar incidentally, had more than 30 cases including 7 murders against him. It is now being said that Devendran's family will approach the court with a Habeas Corpus petition. During interrogation, Devendran informed the police that he visited his family once in three months and stayed with them for at least 10 days.
Right after the death of Sridhar, the police had issued a look out circular for his next to kin, i.e., his wife, his daughter and son. However, they had not issued a circular against Devendran then.