Assistant Sub-inspector Biju and the driver of a police patrolling vehicle have been taken into custody in connection with the murder of 23-year-old Kevin Joseph in Kottayam, Kochi range Inspector General Vijay Sakhare confirmed to reporters on Wednesday evening.
Apart from the two police officials, of the 14 accused, 3 more people were taken into police custody on Wednesday. While Nishad and Shefin were arrested, another accused Titto surrendered to the police, officials told the media.
An inquiry conducted by the IG revealed that not only did the ASI know of the crime, he and the driver also helped the accused carry it out. The Gandhinagar police in Kottayam district were aware of the abduction and murder, and yet they ignored Kevinâ€™s wife Neenuâ€™s missing persons complaint.
According to reports, the ASI and the driver informed first accused Shanu about Kevin's whereabouts, hours before he was abducted. The police personnel informed Shanu when Kevin's friends left his home at around 2 am the day he got married.
Speaking to media in Thiruvananthapuram, IG Vijay said:
"We have taken both of them into custody now. In the inquiry we carried out, it was found that they helped the accused in the crime. A detailed inquiry will follow, to get more details of the crime. We need to interrogate the two of them in custody."
ASI Biju was, earlier in the day, placed under suspension after an audio clip of a telephonic conversation he had with Shanu â€“ Neenu's brother â€“ was reported in the media.
It was revealed that Shanu had got in touch with Biju multiple times, even informing the policeman at one point in time that Kevin had escaped. To Shanu's 'request' that he does not want any legal trouble, the ASI was heard saying that he would do "whatever is possible in his capacity".
Television reports also stated that Sub-inspector Shibu â€“ who was suspended on Monday â€“ also knew about Kevin's abduction.
Meanwhile, the police have also found a Wagon R car from Punalur in Kollam district, which was used to abduct Kevin. Earlier, the police had recovered two cars.
Shanu and his father Chacko, who is the 14th accused in the case, were taken into custody on Tuesday after they surrendered to the police in Kannur. The police, who took them to Kottayam on Wednesday morning, will produce them at a magistrate court later in the day.