Kochi: The brutal gunning down of a 24-year-old dental student in Kothamangalam, the other day, has literally shaken the Malayali psyche.
P V Manasa, who was a house surgeon at the Indira Gandhi Dental College in the Nellikuzhi area of Kothamangalam on the eastern fringes of Kerala's Ernakulam district, was shot at a close range by a youth, Rakhil P.Raghothaman, before he killed himself on Friday evening.
Both hailed from northern Kannur district. Manasa belongs to Narath locality, whereas Rakhil is from Meloor.
No end to revenge saga
Every time such an incident occurs, the public console ourselves by thinking it was just a one-off crime unlikely to be repeated. But there is no end to the sad saga of avenging one for unrequited love and brutal crimes on account of this occur in the State at regular intervals.
Earlier, the State witnessed such a shocking crime way back in 2019 when a youth called out a 17-year-old girl from her house at Athani in Kakkanad area of Ernakulam district at midnight, poured kerosene on her body and set her aflame. Minutes later, he set himself aflame and was burnt to death along with her.
Here the assailant was Mithun, 26, hailing from Cheriya Pallamthuruth in North Parur. His victim was Devika alias Paru, a plus-two student of Ernakulam Government HSS.
Failure in love was said to have provoked Mithun to take such an extreme step.
The tragic end of Manasa and Rakhil is the latest in the list of such horrible crimes. As per preliminary reports both were known to each other and had come into contact via social media. As ties grew, Rakhil at one stage started to stalk Manasa and was told to keep off after police intervened. He likely avenged Manasa for breaking ties with him.
Why investigation stalls
Usually in such cases, the police end up the investigation midway since both the victim and the accused are dead.
But legal experts say the police have to follow all the procedures in this case, similar to those that are applicable in usual crimes. Hence, the statements of friends, relatives and eye witnesses will be recorded by the police.
According to police, similar cases will be tried as a murder case. The news of the death of both the victim and accused will be brought to the attention of the court by the prosecution.
Focus on source of pistol
The investigation is now mainly centred on the pistol used by Rakhil to commit the heinous crime. Initial inquiry revealed the killer had acquired the weapon from outside the state with the intention of killing the lady.
The police are also investigating whether anyone has aided Rakhil in this crime. What baffles the police the most is that unlike similar cases, a pistol has been used to commit this murder.
The police believe that without someone's help Rakhil could not have made such a purchase. In that case his aide has to be brought to book, the police point out.