Did cops ignore crucial 'quotation gang' evidence in Periya case?

Did cops ignore crucial 'quotation gang' evidence in Periya case?
YC members Sharathlal and Kripesh were hacked to death in Kasaragod on February 17.

Kasaragod: The probe into the twin murder case of Periya in Kerala's Kasaragod district, where two Youth Congress workers were brutally hacked to death on February 17, is taking curious turns, baffling relatives of the victims and people watching the progress in the investigation.

It seems the cops are dumping crucial evidence collected earlier. The reason for this is that the police have narrowed down the probe to the local CPM members. The earlier theory was local CPM leaders had paid a ‘quotation’ gang from outside to carry out the murders. Evidence pointing to this theory was collected also. However, the narrative changed once CPM leaders intervened and made some local members and activists surrender.

With main suspect A Peethambaran and his cronies confessing to the murders, the police have shut the other options and possibilities in the case, allegedly to protect bigger fish involved in the conspiracy to eliminate the YC men.

Jeep off radar

A few glaring goof-ups the cops committed till now point to a bigger conspiracy to stall the probe going beyond a particular pre-decided level. Kripesh and Sharathlal were present at the organising committee meeting of Perumkaliyattam at Kalyott Bhagavati Temple on February 17. The police had received information on a gang watching the duo's movements in a jeep registered in Kannur.

The jeep used by the accused of Periya murder case.

Eyewitness statements said a local CPM leader helped the gang identify Kripesh and Sharathlal. They were murdered on the same night. The same jeep was later spotted by the police speeding towards Kannur from Cheruvathur area. They deduced the jeep might have started from Kalyott, considering the timing of the murder and the vehicle's sighting near Cheruvathur. But the investigation that followed did not include this vehicle. In fact, this jeep just vanished from the probe team's follow-up investigation.

Finger prints ignored

Two fingerprints were collected from the bikes used by the victims. They are yet to be analysed. Even when the police say there were eight members in the gang, this forensic evidence is not being used to create further inroads into the case.

Mystery mobile phone

Three mobile phones were recovered from the crime scene. Two belonged to the victims. But a final word on the third one is yet to come. The police believe someone who came to the crime scene after the incident might have dropped it. But no effort has been made to track the phone's owner.

All accused in the murder are either friends or acquaintances. Prime accused Peethambaran had sought the help of his political pals to settle a personal score, says the police report.

Five accused in Periya case - KM Suresh, G Gijin, A Ashwin, R Sreerag and K Anil Kumar - were produced before the Kanhangad First Class Magistrate Friday.

Five accused, except Peethambaran and Saji George, were produced before the Kanhangad First Class Magistrate at 6pm on Friday. KM Suresh, G Gijin, A Ashwin, R Sreerag and K Anil Kumar were directly involved in the murders, says the report.

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