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Updated: October 3, 2013 14:28 IST

Probe into engineer’s death hits a standstill

Nidhi Surendranath
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Paulose Thomas
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Paulose Thomas

The investigation into the death of Malayali engineer Paulose Thomas in Coimbatore has reached a standstill after the main suspect in the case, an accountant named K. Elangovan, went missing over eight months ago. The police investigation took another turn when Elangovan’s wife Amuda, 41, was found dead at her house at Ollur in Thrissur here last month.

“She was found hanging in the kitchen of the house where she was staying. She was employed at the Intercontinental Consultants and Technocrats Pvt. Ltd. (ICT), where her husband was also working,” said Ollur sub-inspector Sujith Kumar.

The police have ruled the death a suicide based on preliminary investigation. Amuda, who is from Thiruvarur in Tamil Nadu, was stationed at Ollur for her company’s work on the National Highways Authority of India’s (NHAI) Mannuthy-Wadakkancherry highway, said the police. Police said the family had been under financial and mental stress after Elangovan had gone missing. A team from the Coimbatore police, who are investigating the death of Paulose Thomas, visited Ollur for investigation.

Paulose Thomas, a 68-year-old retired PWD engineer from Muvattupuzha, was working as a consultant on a nearly Rs.1,000 crore NHAI project in Tamil Nadu when he was found dead in his apartment in December 2012. His employer ICT is monitoring the quality and progress of the four- and six-laning work of the Salem-Ernakulam highway from Chengapalli near Tirupur to Walayar. While the police initially said the death was due to cardiac arrest, suspicion arose after Mr. Thomas’ son Suraj, a surgeon, noticed ligature marks on his father’s neck. The police later confirmed that Mr. Thomas had been murdered. Police suspected the involvement of K. Elangovan, an accountant with Mr. Thomas’ employer ICT. Elangovan has been missing since January 20, a few days after he was questioned in connection with the case.

The Coimbatore police said they had no leads as to his whereabouts. “He has not contacted his family after he went missing, not even after his wife’s suicide. We have not been able to trace him,” said investigating officer T.H. Ganesan of the Coimbatore police. The police had earlier issued a lookout notice for Elangovan and suspect that he may have left Tamil Nadu.

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