Man held in 3-year-old murder case

Staff Reporter

Police say the accused is a gang leader and has been evading law for the past two years.

Thiruvananthapuram: The Venjaramoodu police have arrested an alleged gang leader wanted in connection with the murder of a timber merchant near Vattappara in the rural police district in 2006.

K. Radhakrishnan Nair, Circle Inspector, identified the suspect as Lali Santosh. He said the suspect had been evading the law for the past two years. The police case is that Lali, along with his gang members, broke into the house of Sasi, the timber merchant, on the night of April 29, 2006.

The attackers wielded swords and machetes. They cut down Sasi, his wife, Ambika, and son, Shibu. Forensic doctors counted 27 cut injuries on Sasi’s body during the post-mortem examination.

The police said Sasi had assaulted Lali’s mother for collecting sawdust from his timber depot and mill. Lali’s mother reported the assault to the Vattappara police. The police registered a case of simple assault on the basis of her complaint.

Sasi later attempted to placate the woman and persuaded her to withdraw the case. He financially compensated her and Lali. However, Lali and his gang continued to extort money from Sasi. They attacked Sasi when they came to know that he had engaged another criminal gang to stop the extortion.

The other accused in the case are “Pachandi” Binu, Anish, Sharath Lal, Sharath, Joy, Shameer and Binu. The police had arrested them earlier.

Mr. Nair said the accused owed allegiance to the gang leader “Vattappara” Binu. The medical college police had recently arrested Binu on the charge of attempting to kill one Anikuttan, allegedly at the behest of a Barton Hill-based “gang leader,” Goondukadu Shabu. (Anikuttan, a former member of Shabu’s group, had later become his adversary. The police had registered a case of attempted murder against Shabu on the basis of a complaint given by Anikuttan). Mr. Nair said that Santosh took charge of the gang after Binu shifted his base to Bund Colony near Kannanmoola in the city.

Youth arrested

The rural police have also arrested one Appi Mahesh, a 19-year-old youth, wanted in connection with the murder of one Sajiv at 100-acre colony near Venjaramoodu in January 2008. He is also wanted in several rubber sheet and motorbike thefts and burglary cases, the police said.

Mr. Nair said the police had moved the District Collector to procure a detention notice against Mahesh under the provisions of the Kerala Anti-Social Activities (Prevention) Act.

The Venjaramoodu police have also arrested Chandu, alias Dileep, a former associate of the imprisoned Attingal-based illicit liquor businessman Manichan. The police said he was wanted in a few robbery and dacoity cases in Attingal police sub-division limits. He will be produced before the Attingal Magistrate Court on Wednesday.