The Attingal police have detained six persons, all suspected members of an inter-State gang, in connection with the hijacking of a truck carrying latex valued at Rs. 20 lakh, near Venjaranmoodu on November 16.
The gang had used a van to fake an accident, which prompted the truck driver, L.S. Knight, to stop the vehicle. The suspects kidnapped him and sped to Madurai in Tamil Nadu. Simultaneously, a few other gang members, travelling by a separate van, changed the registration plates of the truck and drove it to Mancheri in Kasaragod district to sell the loot.
The police came to know of the incident when Mr. Knight, who the gang abandoned in a remote locality in Madurai, sought refuge at the local police station.
Initially, the police suspected Mr. Knight of having colluded with the hijackers. A police team headed by Deputy Superintendent of Police R. Pratapan Nair traced the registration number and route of the vans used by the gang through traffic surveillance camera images. He said the suspects also profited from the smuggling of spirit and explosives, including fuses and timers for use in illegal quarries, from other States to Kerala. The kingpin of the gang was an accused in a major marijuana seizure case, the police said.
Superintendent of Police, Rural, A.J. Thomas Kutty headed the operation.
The Rural police on Monday said a 30-year-old woman and her three-year-old daughter were found hanging in their house at Varkala.
The police suspect Vijitha to have killed her daughter, Archana, before committing suicide. Her husband, Sajeevan, 34, had been stabbed to death allegedly by his brother in September. The police have registered a case of unnatural death.