One held in Kambakakkanam murders

Idukki: A 28-year-old man was arrested here yesterday for the killing of four members of the family of an alleged witchcraft practitioner, whose bodies were found buried in a pit here last week, even as the prime accused eluded the police net.

The man was identified as Libeesh, a vehicle mechanic by profession, police said. The bodies of Krishnan, his wife Susheela, their daughter Arsha and son Arjun were found stacked on top of each other in a pit in the backyard of their house at Kambakakkanam in the hill district of Idukki on 29 July.

Libeesh, along with another man Aneesh, a close associate and disciple of Krishnan, had killed them, they said. A top police official said that Aneesh, who learnt black magic from Krishnan and used to practise it, had masterminded the killing in the belief that he would get the “evil powers” of Krishnan if he was done away with.

“All the four were killed by being hit with a silencer pipe used in Bullet bikes,” Idukki district police chief K B Venugopal told PTI. The accused had also planned to rob the cash and gold ornaments in Krishnan’s house, he said adding that the duo planned the killings six months ago.

The search is on for Aneesh, the prime accused, the official said. Police said Krishnan had been practising witchcraft for several years and had collected money from local people, promising to bring them luck and rid them of ‘doshas‘ (evil-effects).

The investigators had earlier suspected the murder was an act of revenge by somebody who was cheated by the promises made by Krishnan in the name of witchcraft. A sixth standard dropout, Krishnan led a luxurious life, the officer said. Krishnan reportedly used to lure people promising many things like removing evil-effects regarding their property and curing diseases in the name of occult practices.

He lived in a secluded place in a rubber estate at Mundanmudi. Neighbours and relatives, who had visited their house, had found blood stains on the floor and walls and immediately informed police on 29 July. A search in the backyard revealed loose soil and when they removed it, the four bodies, with injuries, were found dumped on top of each other, police added.