MGR wanted murder case against Balu Mahendra over Shoba death

Updated by admin on Friday, October 30, 2020 07:16 PM IST

Chennai: Senior police officer and former head of CBI, RK Raghavan, provides juicy details of his encounter with the then chief minister M G Ramachandran who was desperately trying to convert the actress Shoba case from suicide to murder ! He wanted a murder case to be filed against film director Balu Mahendra who was in a relationship with her.

In his book A Road Well Travelled, released on October 26, 2020, Raghavan reveals how MGR was enacting a scene of murder using his handkerchief, while an amused Raghavan pretended he was giving him a keen hearing  !

After R K Raghavan moved to the State CB-CID branch, having earlier been SP of Ramnad West district headquartered at Madurai, a huge controversy arose over the death of actress Shoba.

Raghavan writes in his book, “She was infatuated with film director Balu Mahendra (originally from Sri Lanka). She was living with him in the hope that he would marry her. Following his refusal to do so after years of being together, the young girl took the extreme step of ending her life. This was a clear case of suicide. Because of the swelling controversy, the case registered by the police station concerned was quickly transferred to the CB-CID, a usual practice across the country.  My officers and I handled the case professionally, ignoring the public furore and rumours that the actress was killed by the film director and later hung from the ceiling”.

“MGR was somehow convinced that this was a murder. There were reports that he had a score to settle with Balu Mahendra and was therefore determined to send him to the gallows. We had no evidence, however, to suspect that it was a murder”, Raghavan adds.

“MGR sent for me several times to sell me his theory”, Raghavan states, adding that “I remember visiting his home in Ramavaram Gardens on the outskirts of the city. The meetings were invariably around nine in the morning, when several senior officials of other departments had also been called. I received the top priority for a one-to-one discussions. The gracious host that he was, MGR first had me served a delicious breakfast. Then came the interaction with him”.

The RK Raghavan read is highly amusing. “Using a white handkerchief, MGR would demonstrate to me how Shoba was first murdered and then hung from the ceiling. However ludicrous the theory was, I was a patient listener and pretended that I was a keen spectator to the demonstration.  The meetings invariably ended amicably with my promise – with a serious demeanour –that I would certainly take MGR’s theory into account while arriving at my final conclusions”.

This game went on for a few months, at the end of which “MGR got so visibly annoyed and frustrated that he stopped calling me. But any police officer who bought MGR’s story just to be in his good books would have been in serious trouble later on in court of law”.

Senior police officer K Mohandas, considered to be very close to MGR, “pleaded with me that I should at least press an abetment to suicide charge against Balu Mahendra. …now, this has become an accepted but dubious practice”.
“With both MGR and Mohandas getting thoroughly disappointed and annoyed by my intransigence, my days in the CID were numbered. Reports of MGR wanting to send me to Delhi on an inconsequential central government posting, were doing the rounds. ..I opted to go on study leave, to pursue a non-residential doctoral programme at the Karnatak University, Dharwad”, reveals Raghavan.  

The sensational Shoba case led to Raghavan’s exit from the CB-CID.


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