The alleged murder, which took place in 2018, unravelled recently after a relative came to know about the incident.

Deceased Shaji PeterDeceased Shaji Peter/ Manorama News (Screen grab)
news Crime Wednesday, April 21, 2021 - 16:22

The Kollam police on Wednesday exhumed a body from a house — believed to be that of a 35-year-old resident of the house who was missing for the last two years ago. The man, identified as Shaji Peter alias Karady Shaji, had been reported missing by his family. However, a recent revelation by a relative brought out the fact that Shaji in fact died two years ago allegedly following a brawl with his younger brother. Shaji’s brother Sajin and mother Ponnamma have been arrested by the police.

The dramatic events unravelled at Yeroor, a village near Anchal in Kollam district. On Wednesday, when police dug the premises of the house as per the information received, skeletal remains were retrieved from the spot. The crime came to light two days ago when one of the relatives of the family, who resides in Pathanamthitta district, disclosed it to police officials in the district.

According to reports, a man in an inebriated condition approached the Pathanamthitta district police chief’s office saying that he wanted to reveal details of a murder. Though initially he was ignored by the police officials, persistent demands by the man made the officials take him to a top officer to whom he disclosed details about the crime. He had recently learnt about the murder from Ponnamma when he visited their house in Yeroor.

Kollam police also confirmed the incidents. “The relative approached the Pathanamthitta district chief’s office and gave the details of the crime in which a man had died. The Pathanamthitta police then informed Kollam Rural Police officers, which led to the arrest of the deceased’s brother and mother,” said an official from the Yeroor Police Station.

According to the police, the arrested duo have given statements that Shaji was killed after sustaining a blow to the head in a fight between him and his brother Sajin on August 25, 2018, Onam day. “Shaji was an accused in numerous theft cases in the past. He was known to create problems at home. It is learnt that the incident which led to his death took place during one such fight,” said the police official. Meanwhile, some reports stated that Shaji had allegedly misbehaved with Sajin’s wife, leading to the fight.

According to the statements given by Ponnamma and Sajin, on finding that Shaji had died they buried his body by digging a pit in the premises of the house. On Wednesday, when the police dug out the skeletal remains from the pit in the presence of forensic officials, the pit was found topped with a concrete layer below a layer of soil.

Astonishingly, in the past two years, no one suspected any foul play in Shaji’s absence. “The house is located in an isolated area and the family had been saying is missing,” said the police, adding that the only reason the crime came to light now is because of the relative’s revelation.

The skeletal remains collected from the premises of the house will be sent for forensic analysis to confirm that it is Shaji’s, police added.

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