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Friday, June 2, 2023

How safe is Thiruvananthapuram?

Even as Kerala police groped in the dark, the drug mafia fought it out on the streets of Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of Kerala. On Saturday, dozen-odd criminals attacked a rival, hurled bombs, hacked the victim over 100 times, cut off his leg and tossed it on the roadside on their way back and escaped. 

All this happened in broad daylight, visuals of them escaping were caught on surveillance cameras and yet the police have not been able to locate the ones who took part in the brutal murder. The assailants came in two bikes and an auto.

32-year-old Sudheesh was attacked near Pothancode, barely 10 km from the prestigious Techno Park. Though the police took him to the hospital, he bled to death and doctors confirmed the same by 5 pm. 

The assailants came from different directions and cornered Sudheesh near a coconut field around 2.30 in the afternoon. The victim ran into his relative’s house nearby but the murderers soon caught up. They threatened locals with their weapons and broke the window panes of 4 houses before they noticed Sudheesh crouching inside one. Crude bombs were used to break open the door and he was hacked with sharp weapons. 

Sharp blades targetted the victim’s limbs and his right foot was fully severed above the shin. While escaping from the scene of the crime, the criminals carried it on their shoulders and flung it half a km away. They chopped away his left leg and his right arm but left them behind. 

Excluding the neighbors, there were three children in that house and one is barely a year old. They witnessed the cold-blooded murder and the locals are yet to recover from the shock and are now suffering from the trauma. 

Before losing consciousness, Sudheesh revealed the names of Ottakam Rajesh and Azhoor Unni. Rajesh and Unni are accused number one and two respectively. Rajesh assembled his gang and organized the murder. All the criminals including the victim have several criminal cases pending against them at Chirayinkeezhu police station. 

Following differences over the sale of drugs, Sudheesh and his gang had attacked Unni’s mother on the 6th of December. Local gang members named Vishnu and Akhil were injured when they were hacked by Susheesh and his accomplices. Police did arrest four including Sudheesh’s brother but Sudheesh was on the run. Unfortunately for him, his rivals discovered him before the local police could. 

That same day, Sudheesh attacked a rival named Shyamkumar who is also incidentally his wife’s brother. It was reported that Shyamkumar is the one who betrayed Sudheesh to the Rajesh gang. Shyamkumar is now accused of killing his own brother-in-law and is accused number three. 

Police arrested Vishnu, Arun and Sachin who were traveling on a bike and they are the ones who flung the victim’s limb onto the road. Ranjith the auto driver has been taken into custody. 

Investigations are underway said Rural SP PK Madhu and are being headed by DIG Sanjay Kumar Garudin, IPS. Deputy SPs from all the 5 rural subdivisions, crime branch and special branch officers and station house officers from various stations are all involved in the search and investigation. Prime accused Rajesh has 2 cases of murder against his name and Unni who was behind bars had recently been released on bail.

Justice Devan Ramachandran from the Kerala High Court said that chopping off someone’s leg and tossing it on the road is ‘scary.’ He added that the killers are probably drug addicts and into heavy substance abuse but asked the government, “Where are we going like this?”  This is the state of law & order affairs at Thiruvananthapuram, capital of God’s Own State! 

In an unrelated development, two police personnel attached to the Kadampuzha police station in Malappuram were suspended after they stole a bike, repainted it and were found using it for personal use. The original owner of the bike, a Tamilian had died in a road accident while riding that bike. This comes at a time when bikes involved in accidents are available for a few thousand rupees.

Another incident was reported from Taliparamba police station in Kannur where a police officer used an ATM card belonging to a robbery accused’s sister. The ATM card was with the thief and the policeman had retained it citing inquiries. The accused policeman withdrew money from the bank account even after the original accused was remanded and sent to jail. He had tricked the thief’s sister into revealing the pin number.

Though threats made the victims withdraw their complaint, the disgraced officer has since been dismissed. Police atrocities against common law-abiding citizens while protecting dreaded criminals are the current trend in Kerala.

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