A Skeleton Added Today to Case of Madurai 'Human Sacrifice'

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A Skeleton Added Today to Case of Madurai 'Human Sacrifice'

A former driver of PR Palanisamy has made allegations of human sacrifice against the mining baron.

Madurai, Tamil Nadu:  Bones of a fifth human were dug up today by investigators, adding to the stash of bones exhumed on Sunday in Madurai. The police probing if these could be evidence that a mining baron in the region ordered human sacrifices more than a decade ago.

The police case against granite mogul PR Palanisamy is based on the accusations of his former driver, who claims that he witnessed bodies being furtively disposed of on the orders of his employer. The driver, Servakodiyan, has said in some accounts that he and others were asked to pick up homeless mentally disturbed people who were later killed. But this detail is not part of the police case against Mr Palanisamy, who was interrogated for eight hours yesterday.

The billionaire, who owns the PRP Group has denied any wrong doing. His company is at the heart of an investigation into illegally mining and mega tax violations by companies in the granite-rich region of Tamil Nadu.

The inquiry is being led by senior bureaucrat U Sagayam, who says the mining mafia has gypped the state of 16,000 crores over the last decade. It was to Mr Sagayam that the accusations of human sacrifice were first voiced by the driver.

"Last week we had dug up to five feet. Since there could be more evidence deeper, we are continuing," said the officer. But the unearthing of bones is being done at a burial ground, with some locals claiming that the remains are of their relatives. Investigators say forensic tests will help determine identities.

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