Periya: The gruesome murders of two Youth Congress workers at Periya in Kerala's Kasaragod district took a curious turn on Wednesday with the main accused and CPM local committee member (now expelled from party) Peethambaran confessing before the police that he had killed the duo under the influence of ganja.
What is bizarre is his wife and mother claimed that Peethambaran doesn't drink alcohol or smoke tobacco (forget about ganja).
This contradiction has put a shadow on the investigation conducted by the police and the statements released by the cops.
According to police, Peethambaran claimed that it was the auto-rickshaw driver, who is under custody now, hit YC workers Sharathlal and Kripesh with the sword several times.
This is not the only curious thing happening in the case. Surprisingly, all the six suspects in custody now are giving almost same statements. This has raised suspicion among cops also. According to sources, it is strange that everybody is making the same statements as if they were parroting the sentences tutored by someone else.
Even as Congress workers alleged that the ruling CPM is doing an eyewash in the name of investigation, the theories floated by the cops are not fool-proof.
Rusted sword, killer weapon?
According to the police story, a rusted sword and four iron rods were recovered from an abandoned well following Peethambaran’s statement. The cops claimed that these weapons were used for the crime. The prime accused had apparently told police that the weapons were dumped in the well situated in CPM worker Sastha Gangadharan's rubber plantation some 400 metres from the murder spot. However, sources said, the weapons shown by the cops are so rusted that anybody with normal intelligence will never use such a weapon for a crime like this.
The sword cuts on both Kripesh and Sharathlal were deep. Kripesh's skull was split into two. Sharathlal’s leg bones were cut deep. Nobody can make such injuries on a body with a rusted sword, revealed sources in forensic department. Forensic experts claimed that it takes a sharp-edged heavy weapon to make such deep injuries. All 20 injuries on Sharathlal’s body were inflicted with a sword not with a rod. The cut on his forehead was 23cm long. Another cut from ear to neck was also not inflicted with a rod. No injuries with blunt weapons like iron rod were identified in the autopsy or inquest report.
There are no clue about a second sword also. Going by the nature of injuries, the probe team suspects a sharp-edged weapon like a knife or sword was used. A handle of the sword allegedly used in the crime was also found at the crime spot. Hair and blood samples recovered from the sword handle are being analysed in a forensic lab.
Pethambaran's family had earlier claimed that he is a scape-goat for the CPM. They claimed that he would not commit such a crime and he must be owning up this for some one else the party wanted to protect. However, the CPM had refuted such allegations.
Peethambaran struck first
The remand report filed by the police say: “Peethambaran hit Sharathlal on the head with a rod first. Others then hacked and beat him to death with swords and rods. The intention was to kill, reason being political vendetta.”
Though the police have not released the exact number of people involved in the crime, more arrests are expected. The court observed the injuries are so gruesome that the incident had shaken society’s conscience. Peethambaran, now remanded in police custody, will be produced in the court again on February 27.
Peethambaran was brought to Kallyot to gather evidence from the well and other spots. He was remorseless and showed cops the well where the weapons are dumped. The cops had provided fool-proof security to the suspect, considering the highly surcharged situation in the area after the murders.
A few Congress workers gathered near the well tried to manhandle Peethambaran but police took him away safely.
CPM's Echiladukkam branch committee member Saji George (40), who was driving the vehicle that knocked down Sharathlal and Kripesh, was also arrested on Wednesday. He is an interlock tile manufacturing unit owner and is also wanted in other cases. An earlier effort to arrest Saji was thwarted by CPM members who whisked him away then.
Read more: Latest Kerala news