Police open account seeking information on murder accused

The Kerala Police are on Facebook, arguably for the first time, to track an ‘elusive criminal.’ Commissioner of Police, Kollam, Debesh Kumar Behera, has opened an account on the social networking site, which has an estimated 6.5 crore users in India, seeking information on ‘Adu’ Antony, a native of Kundara, who is wanted in connection with the murder of a policeman in the district at 12.35 a.m. on June 25, 2012.

The 49-year-old man tops the list of Kerala’s most-wanted.

The police have initiated the account in the name of ‘Justice for Maniyan Pillai,’ the police driver who was stabbed to death when he challenged a van driven by the man believed to be Antony, an accused in scores of burglary cases in south India. Pillai’s supervisory officer, Assistant Sub-Inspector Joy, survived the attack with incapacitating injuries.

Investigators said Antony specialised in theft of computer parts, which he sold through newspaper and Internet advertisements.

Since he was released from Viyyur Central Jail in 2008 after serving a four-year sentence for burglary, he has allegedly ‘married’ at least 20 impoverished women with scarce familial support whom he met through matrimonial advertisements in newspapers.

He has used them to hire apartments, gain residential certificates from municipal authorities for driving licences and ration cards, and initiate bank accounts and mobile phone connections in at least six different aliases. The police linked Antony to the murder when they found that he had, in 2011, given proof of his real identity to purchase the van involved in the crime.

Subsequently, they raided his safe houses in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, forcing him to flee along with a trusted woman friend of his. He left behind at least six women (one with a child), who knew him as a travelling businessman and little else.

Investigators tracked Antony first to Velankanni, Puttaparthi, and later a pilgrim centre in Nepal. He was last seen in Shirdi in Maharashtra in early 2013.

There he floated a ‘paper organisation’ that promised cheap boarding for pilgrims and talismans, to be delivered through mail, to devotees elsewhere. At least 100 persons, scores of them women, responded to the adverts. Investigators followed up on the advertisements and arrested his aide last month.