TRIVANDRUM: A Communist Party of India (CPI) local leader accused of splashing a corrosive chemical on Maranalloor panchayat standing committee chairman Sudheer Khan was found dead in a hotel room in Madurai on Tuesday.
The deceased CPI leader is Saji Kumar and his death is most likely a case of suicide.
Sudheer Khan, a 43-year-old CPI leader from Pongumoodu near Kattakada, sustained severe burn injuries after coming under a suspected acid attack at his residence in Kilikottukonam on July 23 morning.
Khan, a member of the Kilikottukonam panchayath ward, is the CPI's Pongumoodu local committee secretary.
The attack on Khan was a result of personal rivalry, the police said.
Khan is also the president of a dairy co-operative society near Velloorkonam. Saji Kumar was the previous president of the society. Since Khan assumed the role of the president, there have been issues brewing between the two.
The police said Kumar visited Khan's house at 7.30 am on Sunday and was let in by the latter's wife as Kumar said he wanted to meet her husband. Since both men belonged to the same party and Kumar had been to the house on many other occasions to meet Khan, she did not suspect any foul play and let him in. At the time, Khan was asleep in his bedroom and his wife went out to sweep the courtyard.
Later, as she rushed in on hearing cries from Khan's bedroom, Kumar silently left the house without saying a word. When she reached the bedroom, Khan was standing underneath the shower. Since he was not in a condition to speak about what had happened, the family initially assumed he sustained burns after his cell phone exploded.
The doctors later informed the cops that the burns were induced by a chemical substance that was splashed on Khan.
Police recovered a bottle which was reportedly used by Kumar to carry the corrosive chemical.
(If you are having suicidal thoughts, or are worried about a friend or need emotional support, someone is always there to listen. Call Sneha Foundation - 04424640050 (available 24x7))