Amboori Rakhi Mol murder. All three accused sentenced to rigorous life imprisonment

Akhil S Nair, an accused in the murder of Rakhi Mol (right).

The Thiruvananthapuram Additional Sessions Court on Friday sentenced the three accused in the murder of Rakhi Mol on June 21, 2019, called the 'Amboori Murder', to rigorous life imprisonment. The accused are Akhil S Nair (24), a driver in the Indian Army, his older brother Rahul S Nair (27) and their friend Adarsh Nair (23). The three have also been slapped a fine of Rs three lakh each.

The three accused belonged to Amboori, a village at the east end of Thiruvananthapuram district and fringed by the Western Ghats. Rakhi Mol lived in Neyyattinkara, some 20 kilometres west of Amboori.

Akhil, the prime accused in the murder, is said to have been in love with Rakhi Mol, a woman older than him by at least seven years. Rakhi was working at Kalamassery in Kochi, in the broadband wing of a private cable company. According to the police, it was a missed call that brought the two of them together for the first time. This initial conversation then developed into a love affair.

The couple used to hang out together whenever Rakhi came home on leave. The prosecution said that both had even secretly married at a temple in Kochi in February 2019.

But Akhil was also two-timing Rakhi Mol. He was in love with another female at the same time. The second affair became more serious and his marriage was officially fixed with the second lover. It was as if Akhil had broken off with Rakhi Mol. He had even uploaded pictures of his engagement ceremony on his Facebook page.

L-R: Rakhi Mol, Akhil S Nair, Rahul S Nair and Adarsh Nair.

According to the police, what acted as a provocation for the murder was Rakhi Mol's threat that she would thwart his marriage. Rakhi Mol is said to have even met Akhil's fiance to ask her to call off the marriage.

A trap was set when Rakhi Mol came on leave on June 18. The day she was supposed to return to her workplace in Kalamassery, on June 21, Akhil gave her a call. He was sweet with her and asked whether he could meet her at the Neyyattinkara bus stand. At the stand, he made her feel special and told her that he was constructing a new house. He said he had always wanted her to see the house. Rakhi Mol was apparently touched.

He took her in his friend Adarsh's car. His brother Rahul was in the driver's seat. He asked Rakhi to be in the front passenger seat while he and Adarsh got in the back. On the way, Akhil strangled her to death from behind using the seatbelt. Rahul kept revving up the engine to muffle the desperate sounds Rakhi Mol made while struggling for life.

The three then dumped the body in a pit dug in advance inside a rubber plantation adjacent to Akhil's house. They removed the clothes from the body and sprinkled salt over it to hasten disintegration. After the body was buried, the accused planted palm saplings over the pit to preempt suspicion.

The very next day, Akhil left for Ladakh where he was posted, and the other two left for Guruvayur.

Eventually, it was the perverse brilliance of the accused that led to their undoing. In an attempt to throw the investigation off track, Akhil used Rakhi Mol's sim card, which he had extracted after murdering her, to send messages to his phone. These messages said that she was breaking off with him and was moving to Chennai with a friend of hers.

When Akhil's family filed a complaint with the police saying they were being harassed in the name of investigation, printouts of messages that were purportedly sent by Rakhi Mol were also attached to show that Akhil was innocent.

These messages, instead of establishing Akhil's innocence, caused more suspicions. Soon it was revealed that though the sim card was Rakhi Mol's, the phone from which the messages were sent was not hers. It was revealed that this phone was purchased from a second-hand shop by Rahul and Adarsh. Akhil and his co-conspirators were unable to use Rakhi Mol's phone to send the messages as it required fingerprint authentication.

It was Adarsh, the friend, who first confessed to the crime.

After their sentences were read out, the Judge asked the accused whether they had anything to say about their sentences. All three broke down. Brothers Akhil and Rahul said that their father was bedridden after an accident and that there would be no one to look after both their parents. Adarsh said his mother, a widower, too had no one to look after her.

The prosecution team was led by special public prosecutors P P Geetha and A Salahudeen.

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