Staff Reporter

Search on for accomplices

Thiruvananthapuram: Two persons wanted in connection with the murder of `Aprani' Krishnakumar surrendered before the Judicial First Class Magistrate court here on Wednesday. The accused were identified as `Peeli' Shibu and Arun, both listed as "gang leaders and habitual offenders" in police records.

The police were after the accused for the past eight days but had no clue that they would dodge arrest and surrender before the court, Assistant Commissioner Shangumughom P. Reghunath said. The suspects had surrendered in an attempt to murder case relating to the attack on a `rent-a-car' agency owner in Thumpa this year. The police said the owner was attacked for refusing to rent his vehicles to the accused.

Mr. Reghunath said the police have information about the "behind-the-scene" conspirators in the case. At least four gang leaders are suspected to be involved in the murder. One of them is in hiding in Bangalore. The police today questioned an associate of the gang leader to learn about his whereabouts.

Another official said that certain corrupt elements in the city police crime squad were keeping the suspects posted about the investigation and the movements of the police. One of the conspirators in the case is known to use at least seven mobile phones at a time. Shibu is accused in several cases, including the country bomb attack against the police in Kazhakuttam in 2004. In 2002, Shibu was arrested in connection with a highway robbery spree, which involved members of a Kazhakuttam-based gang.

According to the police, the gang used a stolen van to carry out 22 robberies along the Mangalapuram-Malappuram national highway within a 24-hour time span.