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Probe hits a roadblock; cops await court’s ruling

The probe into the murder of Shakunthala, whose skeletal remains were found stuffed inside a concrete-filled barrel at Kumbalam on January 8, has hit a roadblock with the daughter of the deceased.

Published: 06th April 2018 05:11 AM  |   Last Updated: 06th April 2018 05:11 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

KOCHI: The probe into the murder of Shakunthala, whose skeletal remains were found stuffed inside a concrete-filled barrel at Kumbalam on January 8, has hit a roadblock with the daughter of the deceased refusing to cooperate with the officers.

Aswathi, daughter of Shakunthala, had informed the Ernakulam District Principal and Sessions Court she was unwilling to undergo a polygraph test in connection with the probe.The officers are now awaiting the order of the court, which directed Aswathi to inform her decision before it on Friday.So far, the investigators have not made any arrest in the case. “We have got evidence of Aswathi’s involvement in the crime. We will initiate further steps after the court takes a decision on Friday,” said P P Shams, Thrikkakara Assistant Commissioner of Police.

According to the police, Aswathi’s paramour T M Sajith murdered Shakunthala after she allegedly threatened to reveal his illicit relationship with Aswathi to his wife.The probe into the murder failed to make any breakthrough as the prime suspect in the case was found dead a day after the recovery of the skeletal remains. The police said there were several contradictions in Ashwathi’s statements, following which the investigation team moved the court seeking the permission to conduct the polygraph test.
Though she had earlier agreed to undergo the test, she informed the court through an advocate on Wednesday she was not willing for it. Following this, the court directed her to inform her decision on Friday.

Earlier, the police had tracked down five accomplices of Sajith who helped him dump the barrel containing the body in the backwaters. The investigators tracked them down using call data records and on the basis of the findings, they identified Sajith as the prime suspect.

However, the inquiries suggested these persons had no role in the murder plot and they only assisted to dump the barrel without knowing it was a dead body. Shams said they have yet not come across the involvement of any other persons other than Aswathi in plotting the crime. Meanwhile, another probe by the Hill Palace police are yet to find the exact cause of Sajith’s death.According to officers, they are awaiting the forensic examination results of his viscera samples.



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