M A I N   N E W S

Prime accused in Sankararaman murder case surrenders
Arup Chanda
Tribune News Service

Chennai, December, 19
Krishnaswamy alias Appu, the prime accused in the Sankararaman murder case for which the Kanchi Shankaracharya was arrested on November 11, today surrendered at the Balakrishnapuram police station in Chittor district of Andhra Pradesh.

A Tamil Nadu police team today reached the place, 170 km from here, in search of Appu who had been hiding there. On learning about the special teamís arrival Appu reportedly went to the police station and gave himself up.

He was taken straight to Kancheepuram, 70 km from here, for interrogation. Appu, a businessman by profession, was allegedly paid Rs 10 lakh by the seer to hire contract killers to kill the manager of the Vardaraja Perumal temple in Kancheepuram, Sankararaman.

He was hacked to death by some assailants in his office inside the temple on September 3 this year.

The Shankaracharya was arrested on November 11 from Mehboobnagar in Andhra Pradesh by the Tamil Nadu police and charged with the murder of Sankararaman.

With the arrest of Appu the total number of people taken in custody by the police is 20. The police is also on the lookout for another accused, Ravi Subramanium.

Appu who is a repatriate from Burma has good connections in the two states and was rumoured to have crossed the border into Myanmar with help of the large number of Tamilians settled in the Indian border town of Moreh, 109 kms from the state capital of Manipur, Imphal.

The police believe that the arrest of Appu would give them the major breakthrough in nailing the Shankaracharya.

While the Andhra Pradesh police has confirmed the arrest of Appu, the Kancheepuram Superintendent of Police, Mr Prem Kumar, who is leading the special investigation team, today refused to confirm when some journalists reached him over the telephone from here.

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