Kochi: Several contract gangs in the city are under the surveillance of the police probing the mysterious disappearance of Sanu Mohan, whose daughter Vaiga was found dead in the River Muttar.
Interior designer Mohan, a resident of Sree Gokulam Harmonia at Kangarappady, was last seen on March 21, a day before Vaiga’s body was found.
Police started monitoring the contract gangs, known locally as quotation gangs, after Mohan’s relatives reiterated that he had financial dealings with some people here. A few goons jailed under Kerala Anti-social Activities (Prevention) Act, or KAAPA, and their gang members have been kept under surveillance.
Though two of them were questioned in connection with Mohan’s disappearance, investigators ruled them out as persons of interest. However, they revealed that some gangs that operated outside Ernakulam, have shifted to the district. Also, a few former contract gang members are active as mediators in financial disputes in Kochi.
Police have prepared a list of gangsters — ranging from those dealing in drugs to mediating in real estate disputes — who are to be put under surveillance. The Special Branch, too, are collecting information on them.
Investigators have not ruled out the suspicion of Mohan’s relatives that someone in Kochi or Pune, who had lent a huge sum to him might have contracted a gang to kidnap him in a bid to get the money back.
Police have also taken seriously the fact that Mohan’s parents and brother were unaware that he and family had been living at Kangarappady for the past five years.
Police team to return
A police team that searched for Mohan in Chennai and Coimbatore is planning to return after their efforts went in vain. Police searched hotels, houses and residential colonies in the hope of finding the missing man.
CCTVs installed along the highway had captured the visuals of Mohan’s car crossing Walayar over to Tamil Nadu. However, it is not clear if the man was in the vehicle.
The police team received the help of the relatives of Tamil Nadu natives employed in Kerala. They joined the team to search for Mohan in areas where people from outside normally took accommodation on rent.
Police felt Mohan would not have landed a job within three weeks in Tamil Nadu by changing his appearance.
Crime Branch may take up case
The Crime Branch, too, is checking details pertaining to Sanu Mohan’s disappearance. Since no case of murder or similar crime is registered against Mohan, the case is likely to be handed over to the Crime Branch.
The police are now probing a man-missing case. If the missing person is not found in 14 days, the case will normally be handed over to the Crime Branch, considering the workload of the local police.
Police studying previous cases
Investigators are taking a re-look at an earlier sensational kidnap case of an industrialist, in which a CPM leader was also involved.
Those the accused in the previous case are not connected to the present case, police felt the script of the earlier incident would be of help if Mohan was kidnapped.
Mohan’s friends earlier hinted that the man might have land or investments not known to his wife or close relatives. Someone who knows this might be keeping him in captivity.
Based on this statement, police checked whether Mohan had opened a bank account recently. Police are also checking if he owns land anywhere in Kerala.