The Town police bid to trace three more accused in the recent murder of P. Bhakthavalsalan, an artist from the city, has failed to make any headway.

The police failed to gather any fresh evidence from the two persons who recently surrendered before the Judicial First Class Magistrate Court in connection with the case.

The duo, Jagadeesh and Roopesh, were released into police custody for further inquiry in the case, but investigating officials failed to get from them any details that would help trace the remaining gang members.

‘Five accused’

As per the dying statement of the victim, six persons, in addition to the two who have surrendered, were suspected to be part of the team that attacked him in a room at a lodge.

But, inquiry by the police confirmed that there were only five men, including the two who surrendered.

When contacted, officials from the Town station said they were on the lookout for the three persons, and there were no lapses on their part in the case investigation.

“The case has been handed over for the consideration of senior police officers, and they are keen on tracing the remaining accused,” an official said.

Protests

The murder, committed with the aid of hired goons, had sparked a series of protests in the city for its brutality. In his dying statement to a magistrate while undergoing treatment at the Government Medical College Hospital, the 51-year-old Bhakthavalsalan had said the owner of the lodge and his relative tied petrol bottles around his body to burn him alive. Bhakthavalsalan who sustained more than 60 per cent burns died after battling for his life for more than four hours on April 29.

Police sources said he was burnt alive for not vacating the lodge room where he had been staying for more than 10 years.

Action panel set up

An action committee of artists has been formed in the city to seek a “fair” probe into the incident. They have demanded a special team under the leadership of a senior police officer to inquire into the case.

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