The arrest of six men, accused in the murder of former Maoist and TRS leader Konapuri Ramulu, brother of another slain Maoist leader Konapuri Illaiah, alias Sambasivudu, from a city lodge on Tuesday, has prompted the police to expand their surprise combing operations and to heighten their vigil in the city.

The arrest of the six men from here has in fact surprised the police. Efforts are on now to verify why they chose Thiruvananthapuram as a hideout and to find whether they had any local contacts.

City Police Commissioner H. Venkatesh told The Hindu that the frequency of surprise combing operations, now held at least once a week, would be increased while bus-stands, hitherto scanned only occasionally during combings, would be compulsorily included.

Pointing out that the men had managed to enter the city with a pistol on an inter-State private bus service, Mr. Venkatesh said the police would be looking at ‘serious and more practical checks’ at bus-stands.

Reasons

At the same time, efforts are on to know why the gang chose Thiruvananthapuram. Was it just because the city, given its inflow of pilgrims and tourists from other States, offered anonymity to a great extent, with their arrest being mere coincidence since there was a combing operation on, or was it because they had any local contact is being verified.

The interrogation by the city police, the Commissioner said, had brought out details on the crime the gang had allegedly carried out in Nalgonda, but not much on this aspect.

“Further interrogation is required on that point, for which the Nalgonda police will be making an effort,” he said. The mobile phone call details of the gang too were being examined, Mr. Venkatesh said, adding that details of one Andhra Pradesh number, to which they had made calls before reaching here and after as well, had been sought.