Four years after murder of tribal man in Kerala, main accused in case arrested

In 2016, 40-year-old Mani was found dead in an areca nut field and the accused had placed a bottle of poison next to him to make it look like a suicide.
Four years after murder of tribal man in Kerala, main accused in case arrested
Four years after murder of tribal man in Kerala, main accused in case arrested
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Four years after a tribal man hailing from Wayanad district in Kerala was found dead in an areca nut field, a Crime Branch probe has found that his death was a murder and arrested two main accused in the case. It has been uncovered that 40-year-old Mani was murdered by two men, who lived in the house where he worked, for demanding a hike in wages.

The accused persons, 78-year-old VE Thankappan and his son 50-year-old Suresh, natives of Kenichira in Wayanad, were arrested by the Wayanad Crime Branch on Saturday.

Mani, who hailed from Arimula Colony at Puthadi in Panamaram of Wayanad was found dead in April 2016 in an areca nut field owned by Thankappan. According to Crime Branch officials, Mani was killed following a heated argument between the trio after Mani asked them to increase his wages, reports Malayala Manorama.

According to reports, Mani had been working in Thankappan’s house for the past ten years. Mani had asked to increase his wages to conduct a function that was going to be held at his home. As per reports, this had led to an argument between Thankappan and Mani. Thankappan’s son, who came out hearing the ruckus, held him back forcefully. It has been alleged that when this happened, Thankappan strangled Mani to death. The duo then abandoned Mani’s body in the areca nut field, located 200 metres away from their house.

As per reports, Thankappan and Suresh had tried to cover up the murder and make it look like a suicide. The duo had kept a poison solution in a bucket beside his body.

Though a case was registered by the local police citing an unnatural death, the probe did not yield any results, despite the post-mortem report revealing that Mani was strangled to death. It was following this that the case was transferred to the Crime Branch in 2018.

It was after a detailed probe by the Crime Branch, by questioning the witnesses again, that it was found that Mani’s death was a murder.

According to the officials, the duo has confessed to having committed the crime.

In the post-mortem report, it was found that there were no traces of poison. We were able to prove scientifically that what the accused persons have been saying was not true. They have been arrested now based on the statement of witnesses,” A Srinivas, Crime Branch SP of Wayanad, told the media.

Officials have also seized the poison which was kept beside Mani’s body from the duo’s house. Both the accused have been remanded to judicial custody.

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