KOCHI: A love affair turned villain for Pranav, the 22-year-old who was beaten to death on the Pallathankulangara Beach Road, Kuzhuppilly, in Vypeen on Tuesday morning. Arguments over Pranav’s relationship with a girl courted by the key accused, Sarath, led to the clash between him and a gang of four, and his murder, police investigation has revealed.According to the police, Pranav was friends with the four-member gang, three of whom have landed in custody. Irked by his love interest, Sarath and others planned to attack Pranav to teach him a lesson. They created a fake Facebook account in the girl’s name and sent him messages.
“Pranav left the house on Monday night after receiving a message via the fake Facebook account summoning him to the Pallathankulangara area. The accused knew Pranav would come anywhere if the girl called. They first planned to make the girl call him, summoning him to the beach area which would be deserted by evening because of the lockdown restrictions. But they retracted as the girl would also come into the scene,” a police officer told TNIE. Pranav sustained severe injuries to his head and hands after the gang attacked him with wooden sticks when he reached the Pallathankulangara Beach Road around 4am.
Around 30 minutes later, local fishermen found his body in a pool of blood.
The gang had only intended to inflict injuries but the situation went out of control after they entered into a clash. Eventually, Pranav died due to loss of blood, the police said. “All the three accused in the case are involved in several criminal cases. One more accused is yet to be arrested in the case. The investigation team is also looking into whether any other person is involved in the crime,” said K Karthik, SP, Ernakulam Rural.
The youths, including Pranav, were involved in serious offences such as drug peddling, assault and attempt to murder. Pranav had been booked in three criminal cases while Sarath was recently out on bail after being arrested and jailed in an attempt to murder case. The Munambam area has become a hub of anti-social activities, the police said. As many as 23 persons, allegedly involved in goonda activities, belonging to the area have been deported from the Rural Police limits this year for having violated the KAAPA Act.