KERALA

Gangland murder: charge sheet filed

G. Anand

Killing of ‘Aprani’ Krishnakumar last year



Eleven persons have been included in

the charge sheet

One of the accused is still at large



Thiruvananthapuram: Eleven persons have been charge-sheeted in connection with the underworld killing of a Kazhakuttam-based gang leader, “Aprani” Krishnakumar, in February 2007.

The charge sheet was filed before the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate’s court last week.

The main accused are the alleged gang leaders Om Prakash, “Karate” Suresh, “Ambalamukku” Krishnakumar, “Peeli” Shibu and a government contractor, Prasanth. The police have issued a lookout notice against Om Prakash, who is yet to be arrested.

The prosecution case is that the suspects killed Krishnakumar for furthering their business interests in Kazhakuttam, mainly reclamation of wetlands for construction. For this, they hired gangsters who had scores to settle with Krishnakumar.

The suspects allegedly plotted the murder in houses rented by Prasanth at Punnalloor and Muttathara and a city lodge where “Karate” Suresh stayed briefly under a false name. The charge sheet said the conspirators used cellphone connections issued in the name of Vishnu, the victim of the suspected “mafia hit” at Vanchiyoor on April 1, and a lawyer, “Para” Sunil, for communicating with the killers on the day of the crime (February 20, 2007). The police have listed them as prosecution witnesses in the 600-page charge sheet submitted before the court.

The assailants killed Krishnakumar at 12.15 p.m. on the busy National Highway bypass near Chakka while returning after a court appearance at Vanchiyoor.

They blocked Krishnakumar’s car with a van, threw four lethal country bombs at the vehicle and chased and hacked him to death in a nearby field. The killers abandoned the van and their machetes at Veli.

The police found the suspects had hired the van from a travel agency in Kollam. (Investigators later recovered the van’s ignition key from Karate Suresh.)

The police cracked the case by collecting detailed information on the city’s secretive underworld conflicts and the covert business interests of gangsters and their sponsors.

The investigators produced 215 documents, including cellphone usage records of suspects, as evidence. The evidence includes bank records showing financial transactions between the conspirators and the killers they hired. Eleven of the 203 witnesses voluntarily deposed before the court.

Arun Kumar Sinha, Inspector-General of Police; the former Police Commissioner K. Padmakumar; Deputy Inspector-General of Police Ravada Azad Chandrasekhar; Assistant Commissioner (Fort) P. Reghunath; Circle Inspector (Pettah) R. Mahesh; C. Mohanan, Assistant Sub-Inspector; and V. Dilip, constable; investigated the case.

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