Muthoot murder case gets murkier by the day

via VR Jayaraj | Alappuzha - Daily Pioneer published on September 10, 2009

The sensational case of the murder of Paul George Muthoot, executive
director of the Rs 20,000-crore Kochi-based Muthoot Group, is getting
murkier and more mysterious by the day with statement reversals by
witnesses and others, alleged interference by political bosses,
Opposition allegations about police’s foul plays and shocking
revelations against dubious police acts.

After persons like Manu, who had traveled with Paul on the fateful
night, Shibu, Paul’s personal driver who was driving a car behind the
Ford Endeavor in which his master traveled and the rider of the bike
that was struck by Paul’s vehicle, the blacksmith who made the S-shaped
knife for the police is the latest to change statement in the case.

The statement by blacksmith Prasad of Alappuzha to the media earlier
this week that he had on the orders of a police official made an
S-shaped knife, with the same specifications that the police said about
the one used for killing Paul, had caused much embarrassment to the
police. The blacksmith had said that he had made an S-shaped knife on
the order of KA Thomas, Circle Inspector, Alappuzha North.

The order was given to him after Inspector General of Police Vincent M
Paul had told the media that an S-shaped weapon had been used to kill
Paul. The blacksmith also told the media that the police had taken away
the knife the next morning. The police had also recovered the knife
from the house of 12th accused Kaari Sathish but his grandmother
Pankajakshi had revealed that the police themselves had put the knife
under the cot at their house.

However, after two days of his first statement that Circle Inspector
Thomas had approached him to make a knife, Prasad changed it saying he
had understood after seeing Thomas on the television that the person
who had reached his workshop was not him. This changed statement from
the blacksmith came after he disappeared for a day and after he and his
brother filed pleas seeking anticipatory bail in an Alappuzha court.

The embarrassment the statement of Prasad on the knife was so huge that
Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan had a tough time explaining this in
the State Assembly on Tuesday. While replying to Opposition allegations
in which the issue of the knife figured prominently, Kodiyeri skipped
it first. But when the Opposition persisted in its demand, he opted for
a sudden escape by saying the an Additional Director General of Police
would look into the matter.

The entire theory of the police that the murder was committed by a
goonda gang – despite the several other unsolved problems – by a
“quotation” (hired hoodlums) gang based in Changanassery, Kottayam,
during a drunken brawl over a road accident had depended on the
S-shaped knife, which they claimed was used by Sathish to stab the
young industrialist.

With the blacksmith revealing that he had made the knife to the order
of police on the third day of the murder had shown the entire Home
Department in poor light and the Opposition had used this as an
occasion to hit hard at the Marxist party and its Home Minister
Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, against whose son Bineesh allegations had come
up in connection with the murder.

CPI(M) State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan had given political colour to
the case and caused embarrassment to the police and the Government by
alleging at a Press conference, specially convened for speaking about
the Paul murder, that RSS was behind the murder.

He gave an expert’s description of how an S-shaped knife worked while
stabbing a person, inviting sharp and immediate response from the BJP.
Even top CPI(M) leaders said Pinarayi should not have done this but
observers were of the opinion that the statement was part of the
intense infighting within the CPI(M) State unit.

Mystery still shrouded the surrender of infamous goondas Om Prakash and
Puthenpalam Rajesh, who were said to have traveled with Paul on the
fateful night, at a court in Tamil Nadu on Tuesday. The mystery
deepened with their statement that they were not in the car used by
Paul but were in another vehicle.

The police, who had now listed Om Prakash and Rajesh as 15th and 16th
accused respectively, had earlier said that they had been with Paul in
the car he used. State Yuva Morcha president K Surendran on Thursday
alleged that the police and the goondas were acting out a pre-scripted
drama with the surrender and other acts.

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