Marayoor: The accused in the murder of a tribal woman at Marayoor have allegedly issued death threats to the witnesses in the case.
Chandrika, 34, of Palappetty tribal settlement at Marayoor in Idukki district was shot dead by a sandalwood-smuggling gang on Friday night. Five other women of the settlement were with Chandrika during this time.
These women said that a gang had come to their settlement and threatened to kill them if they gave statements against the accused.
The frightened women then went to the Chinnar wildlife assistant warden's office and informed the authorities about their plight.
One of them is a temporary watcher of the forest department. She said she is unable to go to work due to the threats.
Manikandan of the tribal settlement was arrested for smuggling sandalwood one month ago. The mafia had alleged that the watchers had tipped off the officials about the illegal activity and threatened to seek revenge. After he was released on bail, Manikandan and his gang killed Chandrika.
However, Marayoor SHO G Sunil said that the cops were yet to receive any complaint on death threats and that steps would be initiated when police protection was sought.