KOCHI: Police have made a major breakthrough in the sensational case related to the hiring of a Tamil Nadu-based gang to murder a youth in Aluva. The Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) of the Kerala Police nabbed K Liyaqat, 33, of Kannath, Thadikkakadavu, Aluva from the house where he was hiding on Tuesday and later arrested his aide, Dileep, 23, a native of Perumbavoor.
Acting on a tip-off, the sleuths picked up Liyaqat, who had been absconding for about a month since the incident. A detailed interrogation of the duo, who are currently in the custody of the ATS, is underway, confirmed an officer with the investigation team.
The Ernakulam Rural Police arrested the eight-member TN gang from a homestay adjacent to the Velankanni church at Munambam on March 5. Some of them are accused in several murder and gang war cases in Tamil Nadu.
The gang was hired reportedly by an Aluva native to murder K A Anas, national general secretary of the youth wing of the Lok Jana Sakthi Party. The case was later handed over to the ATS after the rural police conducted an initial inquiry.
"Liyaqat, who has criminal antecedents, had provided assistance for the gang when they reached Ernakulam district. An investigation is underway to ascertain whether he had hired the gang and on the behest of whom," said an officer with the investigation team. Though there were reports that Liyaqat has links with some terrorist outfits, investigation sleuths have not established it so far.
Tamil Nadu natives Yesu T, 37, of Valliyur; Bennin, 20, of Kanyakumari; Ramaswamy, 36, of Nagercoil; Vinod, 25, of Chennai; Remesh, 31, of Thirunelveli; Arul Ananthan, 36, and Prabhu R, 27, of Thoothukudi, besides Munambam native Habeeb, 24, were arrested earlier and with the arrest of the duo, the number has risen to 10.
The investigation team is clueless about the person who hired the gang and brought them to Kochi but with the arrest of Liyaqat they are expecting to solve the case soon, said police.