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3-year-old mystery behind severed body parts in north Kerala cracked

When the local police could not make any headway, the case was handed over to the crime branch after six months. Police said they later found that the severed body parts were of a small-time criminal M Ismail, who was involved in many crimes.

south Updated: Jan 17, 2020 10:10 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram
Severed body parts of a man were found in Kozhikode nearly three years ago. A decayed skull was also found from another beach two months later.
Severed body parts of a man were found in Kozhikode nearly three years ago. A decayed skull was also found from another beach two months later. (iStock Photo/Representative Image)

Police in Kerala claimed on Thursday to have cracked the mystery behind the severed body parts of a man found in Kozhikode nearly three years ago and stumbled upon another murder while investigating the case.

The accused, who had chopped off the body parts, was also involved in the murder of his mother over family property, they said.

“We hit a blind alley on several occasions. But our persistent investigation finally led to the cracking of two murder cases,” additional director general of police (crime) Tomin J Thachankery said.

Police had found one human hand from a beach in Chaliyam and then another over two weeks in June 2017. A torso was then recovered from a gunny bag from another area after two weeks.

A decayed skull was also found from another beach two months later. After a DNA test, police found that all the dismembered body parts belonged to a single person.

When the local police could not make any headway, the case was handed over to the crime branch after six months.

Police said they later found that the severed body parts were of a small-time criminal M Ismail, who was involved in many crimes. Thachankery said Ismail’s fingerprint and his mother’s blood samples were crucial in identifying the body. He said it took almost one year to identify the victim.

Police then started inquiring into Ismail’s antecedents and questioning his accomplices. One of his accomplices told them that Ismail had once said he took a contract work for someone and he was promised Rs 200,000 for the killing but the person paid him only Rs 25,000.

He had said he needed his friends’ help in extracting the promised money from him. Police identified Birju as the one who gave Ismail the contract and put him under surveillance for many months. They took him into custody on Wednesday.

Police said Birju belonged to a traditional wealthy family in Mukkam. His mother had given him his share of the property but he demanded more. When she refused, he hatched a conspiracy to kill her and approached Ismail.

Birju and Ismail allegedly suffocated her to death and, police said, her body was later hung on the ceiling fan. Birju told the neighbours and others that his mother had committed suicide.

Birju told the police that he gave Ismail the first instalment of the promised money but when he sought the remaining he hatched a conspiracy to kill him as well. He called him for a drinking session and suffocated him to death.

He also said he cut Ismail’s body into several parts after killing him and disposed them of in different locations to hide his identity and confuse the police.

“Both cases were well planned and executed. We have filed two murder cases,” said Thachankery while lauding the investigating team.

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