77 witnesses examined; sentence to be pronounced today
KOTTAYAM: The accused in the sensational Praveen murder case, in which a youth was killed and his body hacked to pieces, were found guilty by the Kottayam district and sessions judge R. Natarajan. The sentence will be pronounced on Wednesday.
According to the prosecution, R. Shaji, the serving Deputy Superintendent of Police (Administration), Malappuram, along with his accomplices Binu, Priyan, Sunil and Saji had abducted Praveen (24), strangled him, and then tried to dispose of the body by hacking it into pieces and discarding it at different places.
Motive for the murder
The motive for the murder was the alleged illicit relations the victim had with Shaji's wife. The incident occurred on the night of February 15, 2005.
The murder came to light when a severed leg was found near a bridge on a rivulet near Kumarakom the next day.
Later, a man missing complaint was filed by Praveen's father with the Ettumanur police.
During investigation, the police found the severed torso from Thannermukkom Bund area and later the head from the lake area in Kochi. The police arrested two of the accused, but three others, Priyan, Sunil and Saji, are absconding.
The court has found the two accused guilty under Sections 302, 120(b), 366 and 201 of IPC, which amounts to purposeful killing, criminal conspiracy, abduction, and destruction of evidence. Altogether 77 witnesses were brought before the court.
The entire prosecution case was made on the basis of scientific evidence, as there were no direct witnesses to the act of the crime.