Palakkad cops killed by electric wire used to trap wild boar in paddy field, landowner arrested

Paddy field
Paddy field from which the bodies of the cops were recovered. Screengrab: MMTV

Palakkad: One person has been arrested a day after two police personnel were found dead in a paddy field in Palakkad district. The two were electrocuted after they came into contact with an electric wire drawn to kill wild boar in a paddy field near the Kerala Armed Police - II (KAP-II) Battalion camp at Muttikulangara locality.

According to the police, the owner of the paddy field, Suresh, has been taken into custody. He had apparently shifted the bodies from the spot where the policemen were electrocuted in order to destroy evidence.

Suresh was earlier booked over the capture of wild boar after trapping them, said Superintendent of Police R Vishwanath.

Those who lost their lives are M Ashok Kumar (35) and Mohandas (36), both havildars attached to the KAP-II camp. The incident took place in a paddy field a mere 200 m from the KAP2 camp.

Suresh resides near the police camp.

Palakkad police
Mohandas, Ashokan. Photo: Special Arrangement

Burn marks on bodies

The policemen were reported missing from Wednesday night and their bodies were discovered during a search on Thursday morning. “Marks of burns were noticed on their bodies and the autopsy has suggested electrocution as the cause of death,” said a police officer.

According to him, the land owner had reached the paddy field around 1 am on Thursday to inspect whether any wild boar was trapped in the wire. But, on noticing the deceased policemen, he had shifted their bodies to another area of the paddy field, the officer said.

“The bodies were found 60 m apart. They were lying in a position which was difficult to detect. The mobile phone of one of the deceased men and an umbrella were also recovered from the scene,” he added.

“There are no chances of getting electrocuted in the area where the men were found dead. A high-tension power line passes above the paddy field. However, nobody would come into contact with it,” the officer explained.

Missing at night

Ashok and Mohandas had played a few games of badminton on Wednesday evening after their duty hours. They were subsequently not seen by anybody else after 11 pm.

Both the policemen lived in the KAP quarters at the camp with their families. When they did not return home even late at night, KAP camp officials had carried out a preliminary probe and informed the local police of the matter. And, during an elaborate search early on Thursday, the bodies were discovered in the paddy field near the camp.

KAP authorities are examining how the two personnel reached the paddy field, which is separated from the camp by a high wall. “They seem to have gone fishing at night,” said an officer.

As part of the investigation, District Police Chief of Palakkad R Viswanath and Battalion Commandant Ajith Kumar inspected the scene, along with Forensic experts. A police sniffer dog was also brought.

The case is being investigated by a team led by A C Vipin, the inspector at Hemambika Nagar Police Station.

Last rites

The dead cops hailed from Palakkad district itself: Ashok Kumar belonged to Kunju Veedu at Kumbalakode in Elavanchery and Mohandas was from Kunduparambu House, Athipetta in Tharoor.

Ashok Kumar’s wife is S Sini, the assistant commandant at the camp and an international athlete.

The final rites of Ashok took place at the public crematorium near his house with police honours. Meanwhile, Mohandas’s cremation is to take place on Friday on the premises of his house.

Apart from wife Sini, Ashok is survived by his daughter Sanwika, aged one-and-a-half years. His father is Marimuthu Chettiyar and mother Vijayalakshmi. Mohandas, son of K C Mangodan and Thatha, leaves behind his wife Sinsha and daughter Shivani, aged four years.

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