Kochi: A dispute over a young woman led to the gruesome murder of a youth at Cherai, Vypin area of Kerala's Ernakulam district during the early hours of Wednesday.
The police said that the victim, Pranav, had left his house in the middle of the night after receiving a message from the social media account of his girlfriend. However, according to the police, the account was a fake one, created by the assailants to trap Pranav.
The police have arrested two youths, identified as Sarath and Jibin, in connection with the incident.
The girl, who was in a relationship with Pranav, had recently become close to Sarath, leading to the trouble between them. Sarath, aggrieved that the girl was still in touch with Pranav, decided to eliminate the latter with the help of his friends.
Sarath, who was certain that Pranav would respond to a message from the girl anytime, created a fake social media account in the young woman’s name and started chatting with Pranav. Even though Sarath and his gang had earlier planned to ask the girl to call Pranav, they later decided against it as they did not want to involve the girl in the crime.
Around midnight, the assailants started chatting with Pranav through the fake account and invited him to a place near the beach. Believing the message to be true, Pranav rushed to the spot, where Sarath and his gang attacked him with sticks from a quickstick (seemakonna) tree. A heavy blow to the head caused Pranav’s death, said the police.
Pranav’s body was discovered around 4 am by some fishermen heading to work. It was lying on a pocket road leading to the Pallathamkulangara beach. A stick and a broken tubelight used to assault Pranav were found near the body. Though some other fishermen passed the road around 3.30 am, they had not noticed the body. Later, police and forensic experts carried out an examination at the crime scene.
After the lockdown was imposed, tourists have abandoned the beach and criminal gangs and drug abusers are seen everywhere, said the local residents. Disputes and fights are common between these gangs, they added. According to the local people, the accused as well as the victim of the latest incident are drug peddlers and users. Pranav and the accused were known to each other but the former preferred to remain aloof from others most of the time. However, he was known to be the most violent among them, said the residents.