Killing of Ammasai has a parallel in Kerala’s infamous Chacko murder

M. Ammasai   | Photo Credit: SPL

The main motive behind the murder of M. Ammasai (45) of Sivananda Colony in Coimbatore on December 11, 2011 was a conspiracy by advocate E.T. Rajavel to fake the death of his wife Mohana who faced cheating cases involving ₹12 crore in Odisha, according to investigators.

The murder draws a parallel with the infamous murder of Chacko at Mavelikkara in Alappuzha district in January 1984 which was an attempt by Kerala’s longest wanted criminal Sukumara Kurup to fake his own death in a bid to claim an insurance amount of ₹8 lakh with the help of his brother and an aide.

While Rajavel and his associates, Palanisamy and Ponraj alias Ponnarasu, and managed to obtain a death certificate in the name of Mohana and got Ammasai’s body cremated in a crematorium at Athupalam, Kurup and his aides had burnt the body of Chacko in the former’s car to make it appear like a death due to accident.

First attempt flops

“When Ammasai first visited Rajavel’s office near Coimbatore Collectorate on December 10, he gave her a cold drink mixed with a sedative when she was made to wait. The woman, however, was very healthy. She felt uneasy and returned home in an autorickshaw. The murder was executed the next day, a Sunday, after Rajavel telephoned Ammasai and asked her to come to his office,” recalls R. Adiganesan, who was at the forefront of an action council that put pressure to keep the case alive from 2011.

In Chacko murder, Kurup and aides had searched for a man of matching physique. They finally identified Chacko as a match. They offered him a car ride and a spiked drink after which the murder was executed, according to the police. However, the autopsy revealed that the body was charred after a murder and the identity of the deceased was subsequently ascertained.

Though Rajavel had managed to cremate Ammasai's body as that of Mohana on December 12 and later obtained a death certificate for his wife, the mystery of a murder came to light when the couple made moves to get a property registered in Mohana’s name. Officials found that a death certificate was already issued in her name.

A challenge

“We found that Mohana was alive and confession from the accused involved in the forging of the certificate led us to unearthing Ammasai’s murder. This happened around two years after the murder and proving the murder was a big challenge as we did not have a body or post-mortem certificate,” recalls the then Podanur Inspector M. Kanagasabapathy.

Later, Rathinapuri police altered the case registered in connection with Ammasai's missing to that of a murder. Subsequently, the police arrested all the accused.

Sukumara Kurup, then an executive of a marine petroleum firm in Abu Dhabi, is still wanted and a motion picture inspired by the events titled ‘Kurup’ starring Dulquer Salmaan is expected for release soon.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2021 9:03:40 AM |

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