Manjeri police on Thursday arrested 81-year-old Thodupuzha native P Sebastian alias Kuttyachan from Mangaluru in a 27-year-old murder case. 27 years ago, then 53-year-old P Sebastian and 28-year-old Parakkal Murali from Manarkkad got into a quarrel over some financial matters. They both worked at a granite quarry near Pookottur. Murali had helped Sebastian find a job at the quarry.
The quarrel outside a tea shop near the quarry soon turned violent and Sebastian stabbed Murali multiple times with a sharp instrument. He fled the scene immediately. Murali succumbed to his injuries.
After fleeing the scene, Sebastian reportedly came to Aravankara, caught a bus to Kozhikode and then travelled onward to Karnataka. He came to Mangaluru and had been working in different parts of the city under various aliases for the past 27 years.
Sebastian was recently arrested in another case after his house owner filed a complaint against him. The police, who have a list of absconding accused, realised that Sebastian was the same person they had been looking for since Murali was killed.
â€œHe was living in a rented house in Mangaluru and his house owner asked him to leave because he would get drunk and cause problems there. In retaliation to being asked to leave, he threw a crude bomb at the house ownerâ€™s house. When his arrest was registered in Mangaluru in this case, it came to our notice that it was the same person involved in this old murder case. We went there and formally arrested him in the 27-year-old murder case as well," a Manjeri police official told TNM.
â€œWe have submitted a report to the court here, and if he will be sent here to appear before the court if required. Most probably he will be sent back to Mangaluru and produced before the court here only when required. The court will decide the exact process, but this is what is likely to happen," the official added.
The police official also stated that it had been difficult to trace Sebastian due to his habit of using various aliases and working daily wage jobs that often do not involve any documentation. He had also made no attempt to communicate with or contact his family over the last 27 years.