KOCHI: Exhuming the body of a deceased person and conducting a postmortem examination are usually part of the crime investigation procedure. In a rare case, however, the police on Wednesday exhumed the carcass of a buffalo and conducted its postmortem examination after owners of the animal lodged a complaint that it was found dead under mysterious circumstances. The postmortem was conducted to ascertain the exact cause of death of the three-year-old buffalo reared by three youngsters — Sujin, Sunesh and Vishnu N Ramachandran.
The animal, which went missing on June 16 from the plot it was tied to, was found dead the same day about 250m away near a paddy field at Kanjirakkad near Perumbavoor. Though the people who were present on the spot at that time told the owners that the buffalo died after it got strangled by the rope used for tying it to a pole, the owners weren’t ready to believe it. They suspected foul play, as a deal with a few persons to sell the buffalo had failed over the price. About a month before the incident, the youths were approached by a gang to buy the animal. However, the owners were not willing to sell it for the price offered by them.
“The buffalo’s carcass was found near a spot at Kanjirakkad where cattle slaughter is carried out. The people who approached us with the deal were also there. They even arranged people to bury the carcass. A deep wound was found in its neck and it couldn’t have happened if it had got strangled accidentally,” said Vishnu, one of the owners.
Vishnu, a graduate in mechanical engineering, Sujin, an aluminum fabrication worker, and Sunesh, an employee of CIAL, decided to rear buffaloes in November 2018. “As we were only beginning, we bought only one buffalo. Though we raised it for sale, we couldn’t sell it for slaughtering. Earlier, a person had offered Rs 70,000 for it but we refused to sell it as we got attached to it,” added Vishnu.
The youths approached the police to unravel the mystery behind the buffalo’s death. “Meanwhile, the suspects tried for a compromise with us to withdraw the plaint. However, they were not ready to pay the compensation amount. They are influential and have been trying to sabotage the case. Though we lodged the plaint on June 18, the FIR was lodged only on July 1,” he added.
It is suspected that the gang, which has been running the meat business, tried to smuggle the buffalo, which was valued at more than Rs 70,000. “We do not want to malign anybody’s image in public by revealing the names. We just want to know what had happened to the animal.” Perumbavoor police said they are waiting for the postmortem report. A team led by Ernakulam chief veterinary officer carried out the autopsy on Wednesday.