Kerala

SSI murder: police recover handgun from Kochi

The .32 calibre semi-automatic pistol was recovered from a gutter near an inter-State bus terminal in Kochi.

The .32 calibre semi-automatic pistol was recovered from a gutter near an inter-State bus terminal in Kochi.  

They suspect the pistol may have been used for shooting Wilson at Kaliyikkavila

The Tamil Nadu Police investigating the “Islamic terrorism-linked” fatal shooting of special sub-inspector Wilson on Thursday recovered a .32 calibre semi-automatic pistol from a highly polluted urban refuse clogged gutter abutting an inter-State bus terminal in Kochi.

State officials who aided the Tamil Nadu team said the “radicalised youth” who “assassinated” Wilson at the Kaliyikkavila border checkpost on the night of January 8 had used a weapon of the same calibre. The officer had sustained three fatal bullet wounds. The police recovered three empty shells and two live .32 pistol ammunition from the scene of the crime. The ammunition appeared factory-made. However, the police initially inferred from grainy surveillance camera images that the assailants had used a country-made handgun.

The provenance of the weapon and bullets seized from the scene of the crime is a subject of interest for the Kerala Police. An officer said illegal gunsmiths at Munger in Bihar, a region known for its skilled lathe and metal workers, were known to forge similar pistols and replicas of sophisticated weapons. Only a detailed ballistic examination would reveal the make of the handgun.

Quoting Tamil Nadu officials, the police said the Q-branch had retraced the movements of the accused after they fled the scene of crime. The suspects had entered a mosque on the Kerala side of the border. They later presumably stayed in two localities in Thiruvananthapuram, including a night in a dormitory at a mosque in Neyyattinkara. (Officials said the mosque authorities had no complicity in the crime.)

Accused held

They later travelled to Karnataka via Kochi. The Kerala police suspect that the accused abandoned the firearm in the gutter, on their way to Udupi, from where the Q-branch arrested them last week.

The accused are Abdul Sameem of Thiruvithancodu in Thukalay and Thoufiq of Ilangkadai in Nagercoil. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has taken over the case. The State police had slapped the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) on the youth.

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Printable version | Jul 11, 2020 3:43:04 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/tn-police-recover-handgun-from-a-gutter-in-kochi/article30635004.ece

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