The suspects in the murder of neurosurgeon S.D. Subbiah, led by a government doctor from Tirunelveli, were offered Rs. 50 lakh by advocate Basil and his family members to carry out the murder, police sources said. The doctor and his henchmen were arrested on Wednesday.
Advocate Basil and his senior, Williams, attached to the Madurai Bench of the High court, approached the latter’s friend James Sathish Kumar (37), a physician of ESIC hospital, Tirunelveli. Basil and his family allegedly wanted their relative Subbiah dead owing to a dispute over property worth over Rs. 12 crore in Anjugramam, Kanyakumari.
“Dr. James accepted the offer of Rs. 50 lakh in the first week of August 2013. The doctor chose Murugan, his confidante, who later recruited his friends Selvaprakash, a lathe worker and Ayyappan, a landowner, for the murder,” Commissioner of Police S. George said at a press meet on Thursday, following the arrest of the assailants.
Investigations revealed that Basil had given a photograph of Dr. Subbiah to James, who passed it on to the trio. James sent the men to Chennai on August 11 with an advance of Rs. 20,000.
The first attempt was futile as the doctor drove away from the designated spot, seconds before the attack. The assailants returned to Chennai on September 12 and allegedly hacked Subbiah at R.A. Puram on September 14. They fled to Mumbai by rail and remained underground for a few months, sources said.
Basil and his family members were arrested following the murder. As they were on conditional bail in Chennai, they failed to pay the promised sum to James. This created a rift between the two parties, which helped the investigation teams track the suspects, who were rounded up, during a meeting to discuss money matters.
The hunt is on for advocate Williams.