AM Sadhick Batcha, suspect in the 2G scam and a close collaborator of sacked telecom minister A Raja, was found dead in his Chennai home on Wednesday afternoon.
The Chennai Police said it was suicide, but didn’t rule out foul play. Seen as the man who knew too much about the scam, CBI sources said Batcha was considering turning approver.
Batcha was to come to Delhi later on Wednesday. His relatives have told the Chennai Police his flight tickets had already been bought.
Batcha’s wife found him hanging from a ceiling fan at 1pm in a bedroom of their two-storey home in central Chennai’s Teynampet locality. He was rushed to a local hospital where he was declared dead on arrival.
Police sources said Batcha’s suicide note cleared Raja and his wife of any involvement in the 2G scam and that he was taking his life because of the embarrassment of being probed by the CBI. His wife’s complaint to the police said he was under a lot of pressure because of the investigation.
Batcha was also a link between Swan Telecom promoter and 2G scam accused Shahid Usman Balwa and Raja.
Balwa had also planned to invest in Green House but this fell through once the 2G scam heat began building up.
The alleged suicide kicked up a political storm. Janta Party president Subramanian Swamy, who has taken the 2G scam to court, said that the CBI must investigate Batcha’s death.
J Jayalalithaa, the ruling DMK’s main opposition, said that Raja needed to be protected, “otherwise he could go the Batcha way”. She also recalled the suicide of “Stalin’s close aide and known benami, Anna Nagar Ramesh and his whole family… (since) he was contemplating coming clean”, in a statement.
The Tamil Nadu government, sources said, was contemplating handing over investigations into Batcha’s sudden death to the CBI.