The 32-year-old proclaimed offender Om Prakash, who was remanded in judicial custody on Thursday, is wanted by the city police chiefly in connection with the gangland murder of ‘Aprani’ Krishnakumar on the Chakka- Kazhakuttom national highway bypass on February 20, 2007.
The police have charged him with conspiracy in the case (Pettah police station crime 51/07). Om Prakash’s alleged role in the murder was highlighted in the signed statement given to the police by his associate Vanchiyoor Vishnu. (Vishnu was killed in another gangland attack later in 2008.)
Vishnu’s statement, which investigators said also indicated how criminal elements used the cover of political parties for their illegal activities, is part of the police charge sheet.
The police investigating Krishnakumar’s murder had found that some person had frequently contacted the main accused in the case, Karate Suresh, another gang leader, on the day of the murder.
They found that the calls received on Suresh’s telephone originated from mobile phone numbers 9387311353 and 9895311353. The police found the devices belonged to Vishnu.
In his statement, Vishnu, who is accused in at least 10 criminal cases, described Om Prakash as his “closest friend”.
Om Prakash had shifted to Valiathura after becoming an accused in a murder case at his native place in Malayinkeezh. Vishnu said he and Om Prakash operated from the local committee office of a major political party at Vanchiyoor.
Vishnu said Karate Suresh, Krishnakumar’s arch enemy and a fugitive from justice, often met Om Prakash at the party office at Vanchiyoor. (At the time, Suresh was wanted in several criminal cases in the district, including two gangland murders in which the victims were members of Krishnakumar’s gang).
Vishnu said that Krishnakumar had demanded commission from a businessman, Prasanth, who profited from reclaiming wetlands for construction.
Om Prakash and Suresh supported Prasanth and shielded him from Krishnakumar.
Vishnu, who owned a travel agency, said that on February 19, Om Prakash borrowed his cell phones. Vishnu said Om Prakash also borrowed a cell phone of one lawyer, identified as Sunil alias ‘Para’ Sunil of Attippara.
Vishnu said Om Prakash told him later that night that Krishnakumar had a case at Vanchiyoor court on February 20 and Karate Suresh and his gang was ready to “give him a work”, which investigators said was a much-used euphemism for an underworld hit operation.
Om Prakash told Vishnu that he would leave the city for Bangalore if the operation was successful. Om Prakash asked Vishnu for two air tickets to Bangalore, which Vishnu delivered to him at the airport on February 20 afternoon.
The second ticket was bought in the name of one Krishnadas. Om Prakash returned Vishnu’s and Sunil’s mobile phones at the airport.
Vishnu told the police that he would not have contacted Om Prakash or given him his mobile phones had he known in advance that the accused were plotting Krishnakumar’s murder.