Pandalam: A man caught red-handed while trying to steal a traditional oil lamp turned out to be a murder accused evading the police for over five years.
Christopher alias Shankar (43) of Aikkaravila, Kalkulam in Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu was nabbed for the theft from Pandalam. He was later remanded for fatally clubbing a 40-year-old man on the head at Thakkalai in Tamil Nadu back in 2013.
A traditional oil lamp is lit in front of a picture of Lord Ayyappa at the KSRTC bus depot in Pandalam during every annual pilgrimage season. Christopher, who was loitering on the premises of the bus station, tried to steal the lamp by covering it with a black ‘mundu’ (waist cloth) during afternoon time when the place was almost deserted. But a special police officer on duty at the bus station intervened and caught Christopher red-handed.
Soon, a police team headed by Sub-Inspector B Sajeesh Kumar reached the spot and arrested Christopher. During interrogation at the police station, the officials found that he was an accused in a case registered at Marthandam police station. More grilling followed and details of the murder at Thakkalai emerged.
The Pandalam police subsequently contacted their counterparts in Tamil Nadu and confirmed that Christopher was the accused in the murder case and that a warrant existed against him.
After committing the murder, Christopher had escaped to Kerala and was living at Meykkad near Omallur as a labourer, said the Pandalam police.
The accused was produced before the court at Adoor and remanded.