The Alappuzha police have issued a lookout notice for two individuals, suspected to be Bangladeshi nationals, for the alleged murder of an elderly couple in Kerala. The couple, who were living alone, was found dead on Tuesday by their neighbours.
AP Cheriyan (75) and his wife Elikutty Cheriyan (68) were living alone at their residence at Venmony in Chengannur (Alappuzha district). Elikutty was first found dead around 7:30 am by their neighbours after they noticed that the milk bottle placed outside their home had not been picked up since the previous evening. The police later found Cheriyan’s body in the family outhouse.
The couple is survived by their two children who are employed in the Middle East.
The couple was introduced to two men — now identified as Labalu and Jewel — by a local contractor. They were hired to clean the couple’s house and to pluck coconuts. The local ward member, Ajitha Mohan, told the Times of India that the workers were at the residence of the couple on Friday and Saturday. A bottle of milk, which was left on their doorstep on Monday evening, remained untouched until the next day. The lights, too, were not switched on in the night.
On Tuesday morning, two of Cherian’s friends from the neighbourhood reached their residence and noticed that the front door was locked although the back door was opened.
The two neighbours entered through the back door and found Elikutty dead on the kitchen floor. According to the police, her face was smashed with a spade. A part of the spade was found next to her body.
The neighbours immediately alerted the police, who later found Cheriyan's body in the outhouse. He is suspected to have been killed using an iron rod. Though a cupboard was forced open, the police are waiting for the couple’s children to arrive and ascertain if any valuables were stolen.
The Alappuzha police have registered a case under sections 302 (punishment for murder) and 394 (voluntarily causing hurt in committing robbery) of the Indian Penal Code.
A special investigation team has been set up by the Alappuzha police chief KM Tomy to probe the case. The official said that all people in connection with the case are being questioned to determine if more people were involved in the crime. The police said the two suspects had reached Kerala after illegally crossing over into West Bengal border from Bangladesh.
The local contractor and others who helped the men will also face legal action. Police insist that employers must alert police if they hire foreign workers, and if found that the worker had entered the country illegally, such workers would be deported.