The man who was arrested on the charge of attempting to murder the lady staff of a Ravipuram-based travel and recruitment agency in broad daylight on Wednesday had planned to target the owner of the firm, the police said.
The Ernakulam South police had on Tuesday arrested Jolly James, 47, of Palluruthy, after he allegedly slit the throat of the woman from Thodupuzha while she was on duty at the firm. She took refuge at a nearby hotel before she was rushed to hospital. She now remains admitted in a private hospital with serious injuries to her throat.
“The accused had come with a plan to attack the owner of the agency. He had even bought a new knife for the purpose, and it was recovered from the crime scene,” police sources said.
According to the police, the accused claims to have paid the agency ₹1.50 lakh for a Lithuanian visa. However, it did not materialise owing to the pandemic. The accused claimed that the agency refunded ₹1 lakh only, and that he had been to the agency several times demanding repayment of the remaining ₹50,000.
However, the proprietor Mohammed Ali, who has been reportedly running the agency for more than a decade, refuted the claims. According to him, he had returned the entire service fee of ₹35,000 to the accused, and he now owed nothing.
“We will have to verify the claims of the owner. We will also seek the custody of the accused for further interrogation and collection of evidence,” said police sources.
The accused has been booked under IPC Sections 307 (attempt to murder) and 450 (house trespass to commit offence).
Meanwhile, the city police have intensified the drive focusing on educational consultancies and job and manpower consultancies in the wake of the incident. “We have been collecting details of such consulting firms at the police station level and verifying their credentials even before the incident. We launched it a couple of months ago in the wake of a large number of cheating cases involving such firms,” said S. Sasidharan, Deputy Commissioner, Kochi City.