KOZHIKODE: It was in July 2012 that the Kollam City Police issued a lookout notice against Antony Varghese alias ‘Aadu’ Antony, the notorious criminal wanted in connection with the murder of civil police officer Maniyan Pillai.
However, even after two years, the investigators could not net the criminal, who brutally stabbed to death a police officer on duty. Antony has been absconding soon after the murder and according to the officials he was a burglar, who engaged mainly in robbing computer and electronic goods, and is wanted for 40 burglary cases at various police stations.
Though the issuance of lookout notices for the accused is a usual procedure by the investigators, the data available with the Home Department shows that this has yielded little results. The data available with the department shows that as many as 158 lookout notices were issued by the Kerala Police from 2011 to June 2014.
However, 85 accused were not arrested yet. Surprisingly, of this, 19 had fled abroad and six accused had escaped from the airports in the state. Of the absconding, 10 are murder case accused and nine were booked under burglary charges.
Besides Aadu Antony, Maoist leaders Roopesh and Vikram Gowda, Mohammed Cheriya, key accused in the Kozhikode sex racket case, K Haneefa, prime accused in the Abdul Karim murder case at Wayanad in 2006, and T M Rahul, 24th accused in the sensational TP case, are yet to be arrested in cases in which lookout notices were issued.
Subash Babu, a retired SP, commented that the accused might have escaped soon after the crime and the careless handling of the Emigration authorities at the airport could be the main reason for the ineffectiveness of lookout notices. “In few cases, the apathy by the police in uploading and sending the details of the lookout notices to the airport authorities may lead to the failure to nab the accused,” he added. When contacted, ADGP (Crimes) Anantha Krishnan said the lookout notices are issued in order to prevent the accused from escaping abroad via airports and seaports.
“In some cases, the accused might have escaped before the issuing of lookout notices. While the investigators found that the accused is staying in a foreign country, he would be brought here and arrested by moving through Ministry of Home Affairs,” he pointed out.
Interestingly, 26 persons are yet to be arrested in cases in which lookout notices were issued by Kozhikode City Police. This includes, Mahishan, prime accused in the case related to the murder of 24-year old Prabhuraj, Sakkir Ali of Areekode and Jaffer Noorkunnummel of Edayar, both hailing from Malappuram district along with Mohammed Cheriya, in the case pertaining to the operation of a sex racket in a city apartment in 2012.
Officials with police said Mohammed Cheriya had shifted his family to a Gulf country during this time. Besides, 11 foreign nationals including Dwight Lorren Surret, an American priest who was booked for charges of illegal stay in Kozhikode by police in 2012, and French, Mauritania, Yeman and Saudi Arabian nationals are still at large. RMP general secretary N Venu blamed police officials for the delay .
“In many cases police have arrested the key accused from foreign countries, then why are they allowing some persons go scot free, citing that they had fled abroad?, he asked.