How DNA test solved a murder

Reinvestigating a case that the first investigating officer botched up is always a challenge.

Published: 09th June 2022 03:51 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th June 2022 03:51 AM   |  A+A-

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Express News Service

KOCHI: Reinvestigating a case that the first investigating officer botched up is always a challenge. The murder of Rafeek in 2016 was one such case that tested the mettle and patience of the then Fort Assistant Commissioner, J K Dinil, who was assigned by the High Court to re-probe the case. 

Rafeek, a 24-year-old resident of Karakkamandapam in Thiruvananthapuram was beaten to death by a group of men belonging to a rival gang. Rafeek had allegedly attacked a relative of one of the men and in retaliation, he was thrashed to death using logs of the Casuarina tree.

The first chargesheet filed by the Nemom police inspector was riddled with contradictory statements from the witnesses. Following the intervention of the victim’s father, the HC directed Dinil to take over the case. 

“There’s a lot of risk involved in re-investigating a case which has already been charge-sheeted,” said Dinil, who is now an Assistant Commissioner with the District Crime Records Bureau (DCRB). The initial chargesheet did not have concrete evidence to pin the blame of the murder on the accused. 

The blood stains on the shirt of the accused, Ansakkeer, were for some reason overlooked during the first investigation. Dinil noticed that glaring mistake and ordered a DNA test of the stain. Samples were collected from the victim’s parents also. It was found that the blood stains belonged to Rafeek. There were contradictions in the statements given by the witnesses.

So, Dinil recorded their statements separately again and ironed out the contradictions. Slowly, he built a strong case against the accused. The efforts bore excellent results as all the seven were sentenced to life by the Neyyattinkara Additional Sessions Court last month.

Public Prosecutor M Salahudeen, who argued the case, managed to connect the dots, bridge the two chargesheets and convince the court about the involvement of the accused in the crime. “The first investigation was shabbily done and the contradictory statements of the witnesses were part of the chargesheet. Dinil included more statements from the witnesses and carried out the DNA profiling of the blood stains,” Salahudeen said.

Dinil credits proper investigation and prosecution for the success. “Investigation and prosecution were done properly. Hence we got a proper judgment,” he said.

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