Panampilly Nagar firing: ‘gunmen’ still at large

Cyber cell investigating Internet calls received by actor

Almost a week after the firing incident at a building in Panampilly Nagar, the police have neither been able to trace the two unidentified ‘gunmen’ nor have they reliably established the involvement of the ‘Mumbai underworld don’ whose name has been heavily linked to the incident.

The two motorcycle-borne unidentified men had fired the shot allegedly targeting the beauty parlour of actor-businesswoman Leena Maria Paul last Saturday.

Since then, it has emerged that Ms. Paul has been getting ransom calls demanding ₹25 crore from the ‘don’ whose name was left behind by the unidentified men. Asked whether the identity of the man who has been threatening the woman has been established, P.P. Shams, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) and head of the special investigation team probing the firing incident, replied in the negative. He said the cyber cell was looking into the Internet calls received by Ms. Paul, and that efforts were on to establish his potential connection with the incident. Incidentally, a man claiming to be the don had contacted a vernacular television channel and owned up the incident.

Though the police had recovered a .22 calibre pellet from the crime scene and almost confirmed that it was fired using a country-made air pistol, a lack of clarity now remains on that count as well. The police are now awaiting forensic lab results of the evidence collected by a ballistic expert from the scene.

Meanwhile, a day after she accused the police of not having taken precautionary measures despite having prior knowledge about the possibility of firing, Ms. Paul said she would now be engaging private security guards for her personal security. She also alleged that efforts were being made to divert attention to her health condition and personal life, including a visit by her husband Sukesh Chandrasekhar from Tihar jail to stay with her a few months ago.

“I have a serious health issue which I find no reason to share with the media since it is my personal affair. My husband had come to stay with me after securing requisite court orders,” she said.

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Printable version | Mar 29, 2020 4:04:30 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/panampilly-nagar-firing-gunmen-still-at-large/article25792620.ece

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