Nellikuzhi shooting: firearm used was probably procured from outside State

People gathered in front of the house of Rakhil, who is accused of murdering a young woman at Kothamangalam on Friday.   | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

The country-made pistol with which a young dental student was shot dead at Nellikuzhi near Kothamangalam on Friday afternoon was probably procured from outside the State.

Paying guest

The deceased, a 24-year-old BDS student from Kannur, doing her house surgency at the Indira Gandhi Institute of Dental Sciences, Nellikuzhi, was shot down by the accused identified as Rakhil, 32, of Melur in Kannur at a house in the neighbourhood of the campus where the victim was staying as paying guest along with her friends.

Both the victim and the assailant were reportedly known to each other after meeting over Instagram about a year ago.

In a statement given to the police, a friend of the assailant from Kannur said that he had accompanied Rakhil to Bihar from where they had procured the pistol. “He claims that they had been in Bihar for 10-15 days in July. But it’s just one of the versions and needs to be verified,” said K. Karthick, District Police Chief (Ernakulam Rural).

The trip to Bihar had probably taken place just days after Rakhil had assured the Kannur police not to stalk the victim any longer. He was summoned by the police on a petition filed by the victim and her family.

A ballistic examination of the firearm held on Saturday found it to be a 7.62 mm country-made pistol. Its source and how the accused procured it are being investigated.

Mr. Karthick has formed a special investigation team led by the Muvattupuzha DySP to probe the incident.

A four-member team has been dispatched to Kannur to verify the background of both the victim and the accused. The team is collecting the statements of friends and relatives. Their call records and social media footprints are also being examined. Besides, multiple teams have been sent to other places, including Bihar, it is learnt.

Earlier in the day, the inquest of the bodies was held at the Mar Baselios Medical Mission Hospital, Kothamangalam. On completion, the bodies were taken to the Government Medical College, Kalamasserry, for post-mortem examination, after which the bodies will be handed over to relatives.

The accused had been in the locality on the pretext of being a worker for nearly a month, probably tracking the movements of the victim before gunning her down.

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Printable version | Sep 23, 2021 2:26:43 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/nellikuzhi-shooting-firearm-used-was-probably-procured-from-outside-state/article35660459.ece

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