Co-accused in Mansoor murder case were with Ratheesh before his death

Mansoor, Ratheesh
(L) Mansoor, an IUML worker, who was hacked by a group of assailants near their house at Pullookkara near Koothuparamba in Kannur district on Tuesday. (R) Ratheesh, an accused in the case who was found dead in an isolated area at Valayam, Kannur, on Friday.

Kozhikode: The District Crime Branch has taken up the probe into the death of Ratheesh Kooloth, the second accused in the Paraal Mansoor murder case, after the preliminary post-mortem report suggested foul play.

Ratheesh, 36, was found hanging from a tree on a vacant plot at Arunda, Chekkiad in Valayam police limits in Kozhikode district on Friday. He was missing after the April 6 murder of 21-year-old Mansoor, a Youth League activist.

Though initially considered a suicide, there were allegations of foul play in Ratheesh’s death. Forensic surgeons, who had conducted the autopsy, made some suspicious references, including internal haemorrhage and excessive pressure on the lungs, which were not normally found in suicide cases.

The case was handed over to the Crime Branch after receiving the post-mortem report.

Police have information that other accused persons in the Mansoor case were with Ratheesh before the latter’s death. The deceased was a member of CPM’s Pullookkara branch committee.

After receiving the post-mortem report on Saturday, a team led by District Superintendent of Police A Sreenivas searched the scene overnight for evidence. Forensic experts, too, visited the scene. Police have recorded a detailed statement of the forensic surgeon.

Meanwhile, the State Crime Branch has launched its probe into the murder of Mansoor, and a team under Inspector-General (IG) of Police G Sparjan Kumar visited the slain youth’s house on Sunday.

The team recorded the statements of Mansoor’s brother Muhsin and father Musthafa. Muhsin, who was the apparent target of the assailants, had escaped with injuries. Musthafa was witness to the crime.

The team also inspected the case diary. The IG said they were checking the statements recorded by the previous investigators and assured that all the accused would be arrested soon. Investigation officer and Deputy Superintendent of Police (Crime Branch) P Vikraman was also with the team.

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