Eight persons were arrested on Sunday in connection with the killing of 32-year-old Faizal P in Kodinhi in Malappuram district.
Kondotty Circle Inspector Muhammed Haneefa confirmed the arrests to The News Minute. He said that the arrested men included Faizal’s brother-in-law Vinodh, local leaders of the RSS Haridasan, Shaji and Suni, and four RSS workers, Sajeesh, Pradeep, Jayaprakash and Lijeesh.
Faizal P alias Aneesh Kumar, the son of Ananthan Nair, had converted to Islam six months ago. His conversion has been identified as the reason for his murder. Hailing from Kodinhi in Malappuram district, Faizal was found dead in a drain on Thirurangadi-Kodinhi road on Saturday. There were gaping wounds on his head and injuries seemingly caused due to sharp weapons.
It has also been reported that three more persons are yet to be arrested.
"We have been questioning many in this case. The eight people arrested today were not taken in for questioning before. They are associated with the RSS and have admitted to murdering Faisal following his conversion to Islam," the officer said.
According to the police, the victim was working in Riyadh and had embraced Islam there. “Four months ago, he returned home and after that his wife and three children also converted to Islam,” the police officer said.
Faizal was found dead on November 20, a few hours after he left home at 4am to pick up his father-in-law from the Tanur Railway station.
Faisal had been receiving death threats from his relatives and locals over his religious convertion.
“His body was found by the prayer leader of Kodinhi mosque around 4.30 am. He was the one who informed the police,” the officer said. The auto-rickshaw he drove was found abandoned near the dead body.
Muslim organisations in Kodinhi conducted a protest march seeking the immediate arrest of the alleged murderers.