Kerala

Police grope in the dark in AKG Centre vandalism case

Forensic experts examine the area in front of the AKG Centre, the CPI(M)‘s State headquarters, where a crude bomb was hurled by an unidentified person on a motorcycle, in Thiruvananthapuram

Forensic experts examine the area in front of the AKG Centre, the CPI(M)‘s State headquarters, where a crude bomb was hurled by an unidentified person on a motorcycle, in Thiruvananthapuram | Photo Credit: PTI

The police team that has been investigating the crude bomb attack on the AKG Centre continued to grope in the dark over three days since the incident.

Efforts made by the police to identify the suspect who was caught on CCTV footage to hurl the explosive at the CPI(M) State headquarters late Thursday have remained futile thus far. The examination of over 70 CCTV visuals collected from various points near the location including Kunnukuzhy, Kannammoola, and Law College junction have failed to throw up any significant lead.

The City police had constituted a 14-member team to investigate the case that threatened to exacerbate the political climate in the State that has been roiled in the aftermath of recent attacks on party offices.

The sleuths have also not been able to make any headway into the suspicion that the prime suspect had been assisted by an “accomplice” who rode a red scooter that passed by the AKG Centre twice before the attack. While pursuing the lead, the police identified the person and found no evidence that could prove his involvement. He apparently runs a wayside eatery in the city.

Meanwhile, the Cantonment police let off a youth who had been arrested a day ago for having posted on Facebook that he would vandalise the party office. Riju Sachu, 32, of Anthiyoorkonam had been placed under arrest on Saturday a day after he was taken into custody.

The police, which had initially suspected him to be the prime accused in the AKG Centre vandalism case, failed to find leads in this regard. They, however, booked him under various non-bailable charges including Section 153 A (promoting enmity between different groups of people on various grounds and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 120 O (causing a nuisance through any means of communication) of the Kerala Police Act for his purportedly incendiary post. He had posted the message against the backdrop of the vandalism of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s MP office in Wayanad.

However, with the move being widely criticised, the Cantonment police dropped the charges and let him off on station bail.

Will crack the case: Governor

Governor Arif Mohammed Khan remained confident that the police will “crack” the case. Criticising violent tactics such as attack on party offices, he told media person in New Delhi that there was no room for violence in a democracy,

Finance Minister K.N. Balagopal also said there was no need for undue hurry in completing the probe. The government had given the police full freedom to conduct a fair and thorough investigation, he said.


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Printable version | Aug 10, 2022 8:07:37 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/police-grope-in-the-dark-in-akg-centre-vandalism-case/article65595976.ece