A court in Alappuzha, Kerala, on Wednesday issued an order declaring Vellapally Natesan, the general secretary of Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam (SNDP), and his son Tushar Vellapally as suspects in the death of a former SNDP office-holder.
The judge ordered the police to accuse both of them as well as their assistant K L Ashokan and file charges against them for aiding in suicide. On June 24, 2020, the victim’s body was discovered hanging in one of the SNDP’s offices in Alappuzha. In the suicide note that was recovered from the scene, the victim claimed that the three were responsible for his death.
The three were also charged by Mahesan’s relatives with encouraging his suicide and with torturing him to confess to the theft of funds. They also noted a social media post the victim made just before he passed away, in which he detailed abuse he had endured and how the financial scheme had gone horribly wrong. Due to their high-profile connections, the police were unable to charge his siblings, so they moved the court.
Due to the fact that the Ezhava community makes up around 25% of the state’s population, the SNDP, a social organisation of backward Ezhavas, is a strong organisation. To launch microfinance self-help groups, the SNDP obtained a loan from banks and Kerala Backward Development Corporation in 2012 totaling 5,000 crore. Three years later, however, the plan faced significant hurdles, and a complaint was filed against some of the office holders.
In the most recent parliamentary elections, NDA candidate Tushar Vellapally ran against Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in Wayanad, and he was recently named in the Telangana MLA poaching scandal. Telangana HC on Wednesday granted him anticipatory bail after he had been missing for two weeks. A Hyderabadi police team raided his home and workplace two weeks ago.