Invited for Pongal, murder suspect walks into police trap

A murder case suspect settled in Malaysia landed at the Tiruchi international airport on Monday to visit his native place for Pongal not knowing that he was walking into a trap laid by the police.

Little did Raghuvaran of Pudukottai district realise that the Crime Branch CID of Tamil Nadu police had solved the mystery of a missing woman and was on the lookout for him as a prime suspect in the case.

Soon after he arrived from Kuala Lumpur, investigators who had already issued a Look Out Circular, secured Raghuvaran in coordination with immigration officials.

On interrogation, the suspect admitted to having murdered Saranya, 27, who was reported missing on July 16, 2017, at the behest of her husband, Raja, and buried the body with the help of some accomplices.

Police dug up the area identified by him and exhumed the skeletal remains of the victim.

Saranya’s family members identified the saree and silver anklets she was wearing.

Saranya had got a divorce and the court ordered that their child should spend weekends with Raja. On the day she went missing, the woman went to hand over her child to the police to comply with the condition. Since there was no trace of her, the case was transferred from the local police to the Crime Branch CID.

At a review meeting last month, Director-General of Police Jaffar Sait instructed the investigating team to pursue the call details of the victim, her husband and look for suspicious numbers.

It was during this analysis that police zeroed in on a number that went mute since the day Saranya was reported missing.

Mobile lead

“The suspicious number went into switch-off mode and then got deactivated. But another number to which the suspect had made a phone call was active. It was this lead that led us to Raghuvaran, who had by then moved to Malaysia and settled there. We sought the help of some relatives to invite him home for Pongal and he came,” a senior investigator said.

Raja had requested Raghuvaran to eliminate Saranya. On July 16, 2017, Raghuvaran picked her from the police station and promised to negotiate an amicable settlement with Rajan.

He then drove her to a secluded place, where Raja and three other suspects were waiting.

They killed the woman and buried the body in an unused well there. All the five accused persons were arrested.

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