CHENNAI: In what is considered a breakthrough in the investigation into last month’s murder of Hindu Munnani leader K P S Suresh Kumar, police have arrested two men who identified the victim to the killers.
On June 18, Suresh Kumar, secretary of the Hindu Munnani’s Tiruvallur district unit, had closed his shop outside the Ambattur Industrial Estate bus terminus and stepped on to the road when he was hacked to death by a gang. The killing, police believe, was carried out by a band of regrouped Al-Umma operatives because of a hate speech Suresh had delivered against the Muslim community at a public meeting in December 2013.
The killers and those who are believed to have sent them are yet to be nabbed. A few police teams are still camping in Melapalayam in Tirunelveli in search of the prime accused.
Naseer, 28, a resident of Padi, and Allauddin, 32, a native of Cuddalore, were arrested from a hideout in Chennai, police said. The duo, suspected to be members of Al-Umma, travelled to the Ambattur Industrial Estate bus terminus on the day of the killing and pointed out Suresh Kumar to his killers.
“We have evidence to prove that the duo identified Suresh Kumar to the assailants. We have also seized the two bikes used by the killers to escape,” said a special investigation division (SID) officer of the special branch CID wing.
During questioning, the arrested men revealed the plan to kill the Hindu Munnani leader, police said. They said they had conducted a recce. Police are now on the trail of those who hired the killers of Suresh Kumar. “We have got valid leads and hope to narrow down on the suspects,” a police officer said.
The speech that allegedly led to Suresh Kumar’s murder was made at an RSS public meeting in Avadi on December 12, 2013, police said. Suresh Kumar sustained more than a dozen cut injuries, including a deep cut on the mouth for allegedly making derogatory remarks at the public meeting, police said.
After the murder, police interrogated former Al-Umma operatives Abdul Karim alias Palani Babu and Umar in connection with the murder. They also questioned Al-Umma operatives Bilal Malik, Panna Ismail and Sikander ‘Police’ Fakrudeen, while in the custody of the Bangalore police in connection with the April 17, 2013 blast at the BJP office in the Karnataka capital.