The first accused in the sensational Puthur Sheela murder case Sampath (26) died in police custody on Monday late night.
He was arrested along with two other accused from Coimbatore and brought to Palakkad on Monday evening.
According to the police Sampath developed chest pain at 11.30 p.m and was taken to Palakkad District Hospital where he was declared dead.
His body was sent for post-mortem to Thrissur Medical College on Tuesday. When the body was taken to the Medical College from the Palakkad District Hospital mortuary his relatives tried to stop it as they were not allowed to accompany the body in the ambulance by the police.
Sampath is the son of Raman, Karippali House, Karinkirapplly near Palakkad town. He had worked in the mobile show room of the deceased Sheela for a few days.
The two other accused in the case Kanakaraj, son of Nanjappan, Krishna Swami Mudaliar Road, 35, R.S. Puram, Coimbatore and Manikhandan, son of Chinna Thampi, 41, Anna Nagar, Gaundar Palayam, Coimbatore, were remanded to judicial custody for 14 days by the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Palakkad.
Inspector General of Police, Thrissur Range, Mohammed Yasin told pressmen here on Tuesday that the custody death of Sampath will be inquired into as per the procedures laid down by the National Human Rights Commission. If any body is found guilty in the incident action will be taken. But his is a natural death and he died of chest pain while he was taken to the District Hospital, the IG said.
He said that Sampath had a criminal background and had indulged in a rarest of rarest brutality and heinous crime as he silted Sheela, a housewife, while the second accused Kanakaraj held her chin. He repeatedly stabbed her and cut her hair and beaten her to pulp in a rarest of rare inhuman brutality. However his death was unfortunate and the causes of it are being investigated.
The IG said that they have collected all the evidences in the case and also recovered the `Thondi' (evidence) from the accused. He claimed that it is one of the great achievements of Kerala police that they could book the culprits within six days of the incident in which there was no evidence or clue.
The shocking incident of the murder of Sheela Jayakrishnan took place on March 22, 2010, in the day light at her house in the heart of the town. Her mother Karthiyayani (70) who was also brutally attacked is still in the ICU in a private hospital in Coimbatore.