Paul M. George (32), executive director of the Muthoot M. George Group, was stabbed to death by unidentified assailants at Ponga on the Alappuzha-Changanassery road here in the early hours of Saturday.

His friend, Manu, who was accompanying him, sustained knife injuries on his hand and is undergoing treatment at the Alappuzha General Hospital.

Mr. George, second son of group chairman M.G. George and in-charge of the group’s hospitality division, was stabbed five times, including on the neck. He breathed his last while being taken to hospital.

According to police sources, Mr. George is learnt to have left Thevara in Ernakulam at 6 p.m. on Friday for Mararikulam where his firm is building a resort. He was reportedly accompanied by three persons, including Mr. Manu. His driver, Shibu, was following them in another car. They are learnt to have spent some time at Mararikulam before leaving for the group’s resort at Champakulam late in the night.

As per the statement given by Mr. Shibhu to the police, Mr. George asked him to collect the keys of the resort from the group’s houseboat bay and office at Pallathuruthy while he and the other three persons proceeded ahead.

Mr. Shibu, on being told at the office that the key was at the resort, proceeded to the spot only to find Mr. George and Mr. Manu lying on the road at Ponga Junction at 12.30 a.m.

Group of 12 flee scene?

He reportedly told the police that he saw a group of nearly 12 persons standing near them. On seeing his car-lights, they fled the scene in a Tempo Traveller. Mr. Shibu rushed the injured persons to the Alappuzha General Hospital.

The two other persons, who were behind them in another vehicle, however, went missing from the Kalarcode Junction, according to Mr. Shibu.

Police sources said this vehicle had been traced to Thiruvananthapuram. None of Mr. George’s relatives or Mr. Shibu knows the identity of these persons.

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