The Kerala police have arrested a 23-year-old young man in the murder of 60-year-old Sheeba Sally, who was attacked and killed during a robbery attack in Kottayam district. Sheeba’s husband, 65-year-old Abdul Sally, who was also attacked in the incident, is still undergoing treatment at the Kottayam Medical College Hospital.
The Kottayam police arrested Muhammed Bilal, a native Thazhathangadi, who was working as a cook at local restaurants, in the wee hours of Thursday. According to the officials, the couple knew Bilal earlier.
The incident took place in the early hours of Monday at the couple’s house at Parappadam in Kottayam district. According to the police, they were beaten on their head multiple times. The motive behind the murder, the officials say, was burglary.
Kottayam police commissioner Jayadev G said that the Bilal was taken into custody on Wednesday and his arrest was recorded on Thursday morning.
“The accused escaped from the house in his WagonR car after committing the crime. We identified him through a few CCTV camera visuals in the neighbourhood. We formed different teams and did an investigation in the area. One of the teams traced the accused to Ernakulam and nabbed him. During the interrogation, he confessed to committing the crime. The scientific evidence from the crime scene, too, is against him," the Commissioner told the media after arresting Bilal.
The incident came to light after the couple's daughter, who is lives abroad, asked a relative to check on them, as they were not answering their phones. The relative entered the house, the couple was found lying in a pool of blood. They could also smell the LPG gas when they entered the house.
"A day before the crime took place, the accused had left his home, following an argument with his family. He reached the couple’s house early morning on Monday. The family opened the door as they knew Bilal. When the woman went to get some water for Bilal, he attacked her husband. Seeing this, she ran towards him when she was also attacked. Later, he dragged the gas cylinder from the kitchen and opened it to destroy evidence," the commissioner said.
The couple's hands were tied to an iron rod and a wire was connected to it, which gave the police a clue. “When we saw the wire connected, we knew that it would be a person who knew something about electrical works, and it helped us," the officer added.
Bilal allegedly took some money, ornaments from the cupboard as well as from the woman's body. "He had plans to go somewhere far as he had problems with his family. He worked as a cook in some restaurants. He had some petty cases against him when he was a juvenile and even later," the commissioner added.
According to Bilal's father, his son had two criminal cases against him; one for trying to snatch a gold chain from a person, and then another theft. "When heard about this death and the method of murder, I suspected him. If he has done this, let him face the consequences," the father told Manorama News. He said they used to live in the couple's house for six months.