The arrest of the key suspect in the murder of ABVP worker Sachin Gopal more than two months after the brutal incident has given much credence to the allegation of the Sangh Parivar that religious extremists were behind the murder.
The arrest of the main culprit, Kuniyilpeedikayil Cheriyathuveettil Ashkar, 24, who is a Popular Front of India (PFI) activist, on Saturday was a real breakthrough in the investigation of the murder case.
Ashkar, the Kakkad unit president of the Popular Front, was directly linked with the murder, according to police sources.
The knife used by the assailants was also recovered from the Kakkad river by a police party led by Town CI K Vinodkumar, following his arrest.
The police had earlier arrested seven Popular Front and Campus Front activists including two unit presidents of the Popular Front in connection with the murder. Police sources also hinted at the involvement of senior leaders in the incident.
Ashkar was taken into custody by the police from a hide-out in Malappuram on receiving a tip-off.
It was on July 6 that Sachin Gopal, Kannur Nagara Samithi member of the ABVP, was stabbed by an alleged group of Popular Front and Campus Front activists in front of the Pallikkunnu Higher Secondary School. He succumbed to his injuries at a Mangalore Hospital two months later.