KERALA

Arson attack conspiracy unravelled, say police

Staff Reporter

Petrol bomb attack on police officer’s house



Attack carried out on February 25

City warehouse used to hatch conspiracy: police



Thiruvananthapuram: The city police on Thursday said the conspiracy to firebomb the house of Assistant Commissioner of Police S. Sanal Kumar was hatched at the warehouse of a food distribution company at Panicker’s Lane at Vellayambalam in February.

Investigators named Sinu, alias Siraj Murukumpuzha, a 32-year-old news cameraman, his wife, Surabhi, his brother-in-law Sooraj and his friends and video editors of different channels, Hari. G. Nair and N. Harikumar, as the main conspirators.

The police had arrested Sinu from Chennai recently. Harikumar surrendered before a court in Tamil Nadu. Hari G. Nair is in judicial custody. Sooraj and Surabhi are absconding.

The case

The police case is that Sinu, with the help of Sooraj and Hari Kumar, torched Mr. Sanal Kumar’s car and hurled petrol bombs at his house to take revenge on the officer for arraigning him as accused in a case relating to the kidnap of alleged financial fraudster Sabarinath last year. The arson attack occurred early on February 25, 2009, a few days after Mr. Sanal Kumar was suspended from service for alleged supervisory lapse in a case relating to the attack on an airport security staff by two passengers in an inebriated state.

Sinu, who went underground after being charged with the abduction of Sabarinath, saw Mr. Sanal Kumar’s suspension as an opportunity to harm him. The petrol bombs used were made in the warehouse where Surabhi was working as a clerk, the police said.

Sinu used to spend his days at the warehouse and nights at Hari Kumar’s house at Karamana. The police said Sinu summoned Sooraj from his workplace in Aluva on February 24, 2009. He picked him up from Thampanoor in his black Opel Corsa car (KL-01-AB-6580).

Petrol bombs

They bought three bottles of beer and arrived at the warehouse. Hari Kumar and Hari G. Nair joined them. They used the beer bottles to make the bombs. Hari G. Nair declined to be part of the execution of the crime. The police said Sinu visited Surabhi’s house in the same locality a few hours before the attack. He returned again at night in his car with Sooraj, Harikumar, the fire bombs, three pairs of surgical gloves and posters lampooning the officer, the police said.

Investigators said the accused parked their car at the nearby St. George’s Lane and slept till 2 a.m. before beginning their operation. The suspects donned the surgical gloves so as not to leave behind any finger prints. Sooraj leaped over the perimeter wall into Mr. Sanal Kumar’s compound with a petrol bomb.

He used the bomb to torch Mr. Sanal Kumar’s car. Sinu threw two bombs at the house. One hit the first floor balcony and the other the porch.

Harikumar stuck the posters on the walls of neighbouring houses, investigators said. Investigators on Thursday took Sinu to Mr. Sanal Kumar’s house to reconstruct the events on the day.

They recovered the gloves used for the operation from a vacant plot nearby.

The police received the first clue in the case when Surabhi’s parents gave conflicting statements about Sinu’s presence in the house when questioned separately.

Her father admitted that Sinu was present there on the night of the attack while her mother said she had not seen her son-in-law for months. Assistant Commissioner E. Sherifudeen and Assistant Sub-Inspector C. Mohan are investigating the case.

Sooraj’s employer in Alappuzha had deposed on his own before the Magistrate that the accused had left urgently for Thiruvananthapuram two days before the arson attack.

He reported for work several days later and had been missing ever since. Sooraj’s girl friend, who he had been contacting continuously over mobile phone, gave crucial evidence on her before the Magistrate after being questioned by the police.

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