The Kerala police on Friday, November 19, appealed against the bail granted to the staff and owner of the hotel where a party was suspectedly held prior to the car crash which killed two former beauty pageant winners in the wee hours of November 1. Roy George, the hotel owner, and five of his staff members were arrested on Wednesday night and granted bail the following night. Roy was arrested after he told the police that the CCTV hard disk which contained the visuals of the party had been destroyed, and police booked him for allegedly destroying the footage.
While Ansi Kabeer and Anjana Shajan, former Miss Kerala and the runner-up in the same year, had died instantly in the crash, a third person — Ashiq — succumbed to his injuries a few days later. This leaves Abdul Rahman, who drove the car, the only witness. Rahman is presently out of hospital but the police have arrested him under charges of involuntary manslaughter.
Though the probe team recovered the hard disk of the CCTV footage at the hotel, it failed to get any visuals of the party, raising suspicion of foul play.
After several days of probe, the police team learnt that there was an altercation during the party, but before things took a turn for the worse, the group left the hotel. In Roy’s remand report, the police expressed doubts whether drugs played a role in the incident. The involvement of blackmailing also needed to be probed, it said.
Ansi and Anjana were killed in a car accident, when the Ford Figo that they were travelling in crashed into a tree by the road, on the Vyttila-Palarivattom Bypass in Kochi.
Police had found CCTV visuals that showed that before the accident, the Ford Figo was being followed by an Audi car. Later, CCTV visuals had shown Roy coming out of the Audi, checking the wrecked Ford Figo, and then driving away.
The probe team has started to take statements from those present at the party at Roy’s hotel, but it has been found out many of the participants were unregistered.
In another related development, the person who was following the ill-fated car Saiju has approached the court seeking anticipatory bail.
A special team of the Crime Branch headed by SP Biji George is now probing the case.