Kochi

Driver of tailing car held in models’ death case

The Crime Branch probing the alleged mystery behind the accident at Chakkaraparambu here that claimed three lives, including two promising models, arrested one more person on Friday.

The arrested is Syju Thankachan, who was found following the ill-fated car of the victims.

He was booked under Sections 354-D (stalking) and 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) read with 109 (Abetment if the act abetted is committed in consequence). His arrest was recorded late on Friday evening after hours-long interrogation.

He was summoned for interrogation previously after he was caught in the CCTV footage and had since moved the court for anticipatory bail. He had then claimed that he had followed the victims and asked them not to drive under the influence of alcohol. He was untraceable thereafter till Friday.

However, investigation sources said that the CCTV footage along the route leading to the accident site clearly showed a definite acceleration by the victims’ car after the encounter with the accused.

A calculation of the speed of the car using CCTV footage indicated the sudden acceleration after the encounter, which is suspected to have also contributed to the accident.

He is also accused of stalking the women by allegedly asking them repeatedly to stay back after the party, which they had attended, despite their summary rejection.

Models and former beauty pageant winner and runner-up Ansi Kabeer and Anjana Shajan and their friend Mohammad Ashiq died in the accident when they were returning from the party at a hotel in Fort Kochi in the early hours of November 1. Abdul Rahman, a friend of the trio, who drove the car, was arrested for culpable homicide not amounting to murder. He has since then been released on bail.

Sources said that the driver had corroborated the police finding that Syju’s approach allegedly with sexual intent, had instilled fear in the two young women. The police have also reportedly obtained evidence of the man waiting outside the hotel before the victims left the place.

He then allegedly followed them, and at one point, rolled down the window glass and asked them to stay back, which they declined.

The victims probably feared that he would waylay them or follow them to their houses, said an officer.

Meanwhile, the police have not yet managed to recover the hard disk of the CCTV digital video recorder (DVR) of the hotel that was allegedly dumped into the backwaters.

The police have called off the search after three days of search with the help of experts. The hard disk is believed to contain crucial footage from the hotel.

The police have recorded the statement of almost all who attended the party but claimed to have received no evidence about the presence of any “VIP” as was widely rumoured.


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Printable version | Jan 23, 2022 3:51:56 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/driver-of-tailing-car-held-in-models-death-case/article37712985.ece

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