Tamil Nadu

Suspect arrested in ex-Mayor murder case

Uma Maheshwari  

Karthikeyan alias Karthik, son of DMK’s Adi Dravida Wing state deputy secretary Seeniammal, was formally arrested on Tuesday in connection with the murder of former Tirunelveli Mayor Uma Maheshwari, following a 36-hour interrogation.

The suspect was arrested after the jewellery that was stolen from the victim and a weapon used for committing the crime was recovered from his house.

While being grilled by investigators at the Armed Reserve Police campus since Sunday night, Karthik, who initially claimed he had dumped the weapon — a knife — and the gold ornaments he had taken from Uma Maheshwari’s house in a quarry pit and the Tamirabharani near Manimurtheeswaram, respectively, subsequently told the police that the valuables were in his house at Shanthi Nagar.

The police recovered a bag containing a pair of studs, six bangles, a chain, a bracelet and four rings, weighing 25 sovereigns, and a knife from the house. Since Karthik had burnt his blood-stained clothes near Kakkan Nagar in Palayamkottai after committing the crime, the police visited the spot and recovered his half-burnt clothes as well.

In the evening, Inspector Periyasamy, who nabbed Karthik from a hideout in Thoothukudi, took him to the scene of the crime again to extract more information about the triple murder [the former Mayor’s husband and maid were also killed]. The assailant reportedly enacted the series of events that led to the incident.

Though Karthik reiterated that he was the lone assailant, the police refused to believe him as CCTV footage showed him standing in front of an eatery near Uma Maheshwari’s house and speaking with a yet-to-be-identified individual before the murder. The unidentified person, in the presence of Karthik, was also seen interacting with two other persons, who were proceeding towards Uma Maheshwari’s house on a bike.

Karthik’s body language seemed to suggest he knew the duo. Hence, the police are now trying to identify the three individuals, who they suspect are contract killers.

Meanwhile, a CB-CID team, led by Superintendent of Police Vijayakumar, which has been tasked with unearthing all the facts pertaining to the triple murder, commenced its investigation on Tuesday. The team inspected the former Mayor’s house at Rose Nagar for evidence to strengthen the case. Sources in the department said the suspect was likely to be remanded late on Tuesday night or in the wee hours of Wednesday. He had changed his clothes after committing the crime, and was conscious not to leave any fingerprints. More jewellery belonging to the victims and two knives had been recovered, they added.

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Printable version | Apr 16, 2021 2:05:54 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/suspect-arrested-in-ex-mayor-murder-case/article28764226.ece

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