Kozhikode Police in disbelief as good samaritan auto driver held for snatching gold chain

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Auto driver Kulatharammal Unnikrishnan. Photo: Special arrangement

The Kozhikode Police were in disbelief when they realised Kulatharammal Unnikrishnan (50) of Kundayithodu was the accused auto driver who injured an elderly passenger and snatched her gold chain from the city last week.

City Police Commissioner Rajpal Meena said Unnikrishnan was involved in a few charity works and used to help people involved in accidents. “At first he did not accept the accusations, but later he confessed to the crime,” Meena said.

Unnikrishnan was under the influence of alcohol on July 3 when he snatched a 16-gram gold chain from Pulpally native Josephine (69) and pushed her out of the auto when she tried to resist. Josephine fractured her jaw and lost a few teeth in the fall. The incident came to light after Josephine reached her brother's house at Koombara, from where she was taken to a private hospital at Omassery.

The city police checked nearly 500 autos that ply in and out of the city as part of the investigation. In the process, nine vehicles that operated without a licence or city permit were seized.

As it rained heavily that night, the available CCTV footage was not sufficient to zero in on the accused. The police had a lead, the auto involved in the crime rode on LPG. Besides, Unnkrishnan had failed to mark his initials at the Nadakkavu Police Station on the day of the crime, which made him a suspect. Auto drivers must present themselves at the Nadakkavu station before they operate in the city at night.

Unnikrishnan has been remanded, but the gold chain has yet to be recovered. The auto has been seized. A special squad led by Deputy Commissioner Anuj Paliwal and a Town Police team led by K G Suresh, ACP, Kozhikode Town investigated the case. Inspector Biju Prakash and Sub Inspector P K Ibrahim nabbed Unnikrishnan. Special action group Sub Inspector O Mohandas, Town Police Sub Inspectors Muraleedharan, A Mohammed Ziyad and Baiju Nath were also part of the investigation.

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