THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:In a major breakthrough in RJ Rajesh murder case, the prime suspect and the kingpin of the gang, Mohammed Salih was arrested by the Special Investigation team (SIT) on Tuesday. He was arrested by a team led by Attingal DySP P Anilkumar after the immigration officials of Thiruvananthapuram International airport handed him over to the police when he arrived at the terminal in a Jet Airways flight from Qatar around 9 am. Earlier, a look-out notice was issued against him at all airports in the country. Sources said Salih had to travel to Kerala after the police started proceedings to freeze his visa.
Mohammed Salih confesses to the crime
According to the police, Salih had confessed to the crime. He said he murdered Rajesh owing to the ‘commitment’ to Abdul Sathar, an NRI businessman based in Doha.Sathar had a personal grudge with Rajesh as the latter was in an illicit relationship with Sathar’s former wife. Salih also revealed that Sathar was upset over the woman’s relationship and wanted to exact revenge for destroying his family life. Salih was a trainer at a gymnasium where Sathar used to work-out.
‘Efforts on to track Sathar and Appunni’
Anilkumar told Express senior police officers have begun efforts to get Abdul Sathar extradited to Kerala for recording his arrest. A search is on to trace Appunni, he said. “We have received vital information about Appunni and he will be arrested soon. Similarly, the arrest of Sathar will also be recorded soon. Salih had to come to Kerala because of the pressure we put in. Similarly, we will also take steps to bring Sathar too,” Anilkumar said.
Salih was taken to the crime spot at Madavoor and Kannetti lake near Karunagappally for evidence collection. The weapons were thrown into the Kannetti lake from the bridge when they returned after executing the crime. The police sought the help of divers to recover the weapons. The police said Salih and Tanzir will be produced before the magistrate on Wednesday.
At present four people have been arrested and two more are yet to be arrested. On Monday, an engineering graduate was arrested for helping the culprits execute the murder. Swathi Santhosh was involved in hatching the conspiracy in the case and arranging the country swords used to hack Rajesh.Rajesh aka Rasikan Rajesh, 36, of Kilimanoor was hacked to death in his studio by a four-member gang around 2 am on March 27. Rajesh’s assistant Kuttan was also attacked by the gang but he escaped with injuries.
The call details of Rajesh revealed that he was in conversation with a woman on an internet number when he and Kuttan were attacked by a four-member gang outside his studio. The duo had returned to the studio after a folk song performance at a nearby temple. A red car arrived outside the studio under suspicious circumstances and when the duo came out of the studio, four persons got out of the vehicle and attacked them. The police later recovered the car used by the assailants from Adoor.