Kerala

Police on the hunt for SSI’s killers

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National Investigation Agency evinces interest in the case

The Kerala Police are probing the local links of the two ‘radicalised’ youth wanted in connection with the fatal ‘terror attack’ on Tamil Nadu special sub-inspector (SSI) of police, Wilson, 56, at the Kaliyikavila border check-post here late Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami has announced ₹1 crore to be given to the kin of the inspector. They are also aiding the Q-branch of the T.N. Police to secure the custody of the fugitives.

Local investigators, quoting their counterparts in Tamil Nadu, said the youths had no past with the officer they gunned down. A senior officer termed the mafia-style hit-and-run operation under cover of darkness a ‘domestic terror incident.’ The National Investigation Agency had probed the main suspect Abdul Shameem of Thuckalay in connection with the murder of a Hindu religious leader in Chennai in 2014. Shameem’s associate Thoufiq of Ilangkadai in Nagercoil had come under the police scanner for his suspected role in the attempt to murder a BJP leader in Nagercoil in 2016.

Suspected reasons

Investigators said the youths appeared scarred by the experience of being arrested, incarcerated, their homes searched, and relatives questioned. They had possibly sought revenge. The lone unarmed officer in the check-post presented a soft target, offering an opportunity to send a message to the law enforcement. Moreover, the police suspect that the recent arrest of some of their associates was the immediate provocation for the killing. Investigators said the youths had relatives in Thiruvananthapuram and visited them often. The prospect that a gunman could target officers on duty has alarmed State law enforcement.

The intelligence has upped the ante in its fight to thwart home-grown terror plots. The National Investigation Agency has also evinced interest in the case. Security agencies are attempting to retrace the digital trail of the suspects on the Internet to determine what provoked their actions and whether they owed allegiance to some online radical group. They were also investigating the provenance of the factory-made bullets fired from a country-made handgun that killed Wilson. The assailants had also fatally stabbed him.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2020 7:59:43 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/police-on-the-hunt-for-ssis-killers/article30537661.ece

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