Ex-cop killed; neighbour who led weird life held

Ex-cop killed; neighbour who led weird life held
Ciju in police custody. Photo: Manorama
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Kottayam: A murder that took place in Kottayam this week had many strange aspects to it. C R Sasidharan, a retired sub-inspector (SI) of police, was clubbed to death with steel pipes and his body found early on Sunday morning.

The police immediately launched a probe and nabbed Sasidharan’s neighbour George Kurien (42 of Kannambadam House that day itself. Kurien, called Ciju by everyone, later on, Wednesday admitted that he had killed the former police officer over a dispute over a path to his house.

According to Ciju, he had hidden near a transformer in front of his house and waited for Sasidharan to reach the spot during his morning walk. At the right moment, Ciju smashed Sasidharan’s head with steel pipes. The incident reportedly took place around 5.20 am.

Two pipes were later recovered by the police in the presence of the accused from the bathing area of the river at Kuthiyathode in Parampuzha. Ciju was also taken to his house at Adichira for the gathering of evidence and he demonstrated how the murder was carried out.

Ciju told the police that his enmity with Sasidharan had started during the days when the latter was in the police force. Moreover, Sasidharan had helped some others with whom also Ciju had disputes. On learning that the former SI had booked tickets to fly to Ireland on Sunday, Ciju decided to kill him that day. Sasidharan was hit 4-5 times with the pipes, which were later abandoned in the river.

After the crime, Ciju went home. A police team led Deputy Superintendent of Police (DySP) R Sreekumar investigating the case took Ciju into custody on the day of the incident itself. He was initially let off on Monday as no confession could be extracted. However, though Ciju went into hiding, he was soon picked up again and arrested. Circle Inspector of Gandhi Nagar police station Anoop Jose was suspended over Ciju’s escape.

Peculiar personality

People living in the neighbourhood say Ciju displayed strange behaviour. For instance, he woke up when everyone slept. Then, dressed in pants, shirt, shoes and a hat, Ciju would engage in farming activities on his premises. With the help of a headlamp, Ciju used to work hard at night on his field. 

Most neighbours looked at Ciju with suspicion and kept away from him. Even though his interactions with others were pleasant, they felt that he had a dark side too. Sasidharan’s murder proved that their worst fears were true.

Local people say that Ciju was not known to drink. Moreover, he was always seen with a clean shave. He also maintained a distance with people with whom he had differences.

However, people suspected Ciju’s hand when some violent incidents occurred in the locality. A couple of people were attacked; human excreta were found in the houses of Ciju’s enemies and one person’s car was gutted. Even Ciju’s mother herself said that he had told her that a neighbour would be attacked soon.

Ciju revealed to the police that he had made three attempts to kill Sasidharan earlier. Each time, he had waited in a dark area near the transformer for Sasidharan, who had the habit of going on morning walks. But on all the three previous occasions the presence of other passersby prevented Ciju from attacking the former police officer.

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