The crime branch detained three persons, late on Tuesday, in connection with the quadruple murders at Kurar village even as the decks were being cleared for the case to be referred to a fast-track court for the speedy trial once all the accused had been rounded up.
A senior crime branch officer, who spoke to the Hindustan Times on the condition of anonymity, said the trio who had been detained, were part of a larger group (suspected to be around 10 or 12), who had kidnapped and later killed the four young men, before abandoning their partially burnt bodies in the forests near Appapada in Kurar.
“The trio we have detained was involved at every stage of the crime, from actively participating in the kidnapping the four men to witnessing their murders (when their throats were slit) on Saturday night,” the officer said.
The detained trio are likely to be formally arrested on Wednesday following their interrogation.
“Also, we are yet to recover the murder weapons as well as the vehicles used in the kidnapping,” the officer said while explaining why the detained killers had not yet been arrested.
The killers, sources added, are hard-core criminals suspected to be involved in similar executions in the past as well.
Crime branch sources said although prima facie it appeared that the murders were the fallout of a petty brawl, “unless the main accused Uday Pathak, was arrested and subjected to a through interrogation, nothing could be concluded”, they added.
Police sources said that they suspected that at least 12 persons were involved at various stages of the crime.