Men from Kanyakumari district identified as trio seen in footage of Dr. S.D. Subbiah's murder; suspected to have worked for key suspect

After four months of investigation, the city police have nabbed three men, all from Kanyakumari district, in the sensational murder case of well-known neurosurgeon S.D. Subbiah.

On September 14, Dr. Subbiah was hacked at just outside his workplace in R.A. Puram over what police believe was a land dispute. The doctor died nine days later. Images of the brutal hacking, captured on CCTV cameras installed at a nearby apartment complex, were widely circulated in the media.

According to officers with the special investigation team probing the doctor’s murder, three men identified as Prakash, Murugan and Ayyappan, all from Kanyakumari district, were rounded up in their village a few days ago.

“The trio had been working under a medical practitioner in Kanyakumari who is known to be an acquainted with the case’s prime suspect Basil and his family,” said an investigating officer.

Suspected to be the key conspirator in Subbiah’s killing, Basil, an advocate and his brother Boris, a cargo staff member with an international airline, surrendered in court following Subbiah’s death and are now out on bail.

Basil and Boris, who are related to the doctor, had allegedly ordered the hit following a long-standing dispute over a 2.4 acre plot of land in Anjugrammam near Kanyakumari owned by Dr. Subbiah.

“Basil seems to have sought the help of Prakash, Murugan and Ayyappan who carried out the attack when the doctor came out of Billroth Hospitals, where he was working as a consultant. The trio has been identified as the men seen on the CCTV footage. One of them identified the doctor while the other two attacked him,” the officer said.

The suspects have been detained at an undisclosed location in the city and are being interrogated, an officer said.

Meanwhile, a case registered against sub-inspector Sankaranarayanan of the Abhiramapuram police station — who was the case’s former investigating officer — for attempt to arrest and illegally detain Basil on the Madras High Court premises on September 17, is still pending.

The complainant in the murder case, A.A. Mohan, accountant member, Income Tax Appellate Tribunal, who is Dr. Subbiah’s brother-in-law and who was with the sub-inspector at the High Court when the arrest was being attempted, later told The Hindu that he had spotted the assailants with advocate Basil. He claimed Basil had intercepted the sub-inspector only to facilitate the escape of the suspects from the court complex.

The team will now approach Mr. Mohan to identify the assailants, officers said.

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