Adimali: A 54-year-old man died of hack injuries as he tried to protect a young woman and her six-month-old baby from a drunk man’s attack.
The victim was identified as Lakshmanan of the Chikannamkudi tribal hamlet near Mankulam in Idukki district. The accused, Ikbal, is on the run.
The 31-year-old woman, Lasheeda, was admitted to the hospital with grievous injuries. Her baby, who was also injured in the attack, has been admitted to the Adimali taluk hospital. Lasheeda and the baby lived with Ikbal at the hamlet.
The incident happened around 11am on Sunday. According to the police, Ikbal, who came home drunk, picked up a fight with Lasheeda. Threatening to kill both the woman and the baby, Ikbal advanced towards them with a knife. Lasheeda, carrying her baby, ran towards Lakshmanan's house in the neighbourhood.
Ikbal too followed her, and attacked her. He also forcefully took the baby from her hands. Lakshmanan, who rushed forward to help the woman, also came under attack. Realising that Lakshmanan had died, Ikbal abandoned the baby and fled the spot. Lakshmanan’s wife Mallika was witness to his murder.
Local people then took Lasheeda to the hospital.
The police said that Ikbal killed Lakshmanan over a previous enmity. Lakshmanan and Ikbal, who were earlier friends, got involved in an Abkari case about a month ago and were on the run. Ikbal believed that Lakshmanan had tipped off the officers about him. The resentment over this too could have led to the murder, according to Munnar SHO Sumesh Sudhakaran.
Meanwhile, Ikbal contacted the police over the phone and reportedly said that he had committed the murder over previous enmity.
A team led by Munnar DySP M Ramesh Kumar inspected the crime spot. The police have intensified the search for the accused.
The post-mortem would be held at the Kottayam Medical College Hospital on Monday. Lakshmanan is survived by wife and children, Vijayan and Vijimol.