3 friends die in 48 hours in Kerala; Police say mystery solved: 2 murders, 1 suicide

THE MYSTERY behind the deaths of three friends, one after another within 48 hours, has been solved, police said on Thursday. They said two of them were murdered while one committed suicide.

The three men often sat together for drinks in the evening, police said. The first death was reported early Monday morning, after such an evening of drinks and partying.

The body of Ajikumar, 49, a clerk in the state public works department, was found stabbed at his home in Kallambalam in the rural district of Thiruvananthapuram.

Even as the inquest into the death was underway, Monday night his friends gathered for another drinking session. A heated discussion and blame game over Ajikumar’s death angered one of the friends, Sajivkumar. He drove his mini-truck into three of his friends, killing one of them, 28-year-old Ajith. Two others were injured, one seriously.

Hours later, early Tuesday morning, another friend of theirs, Binuraj, died after being hit by a speeding bus.

Ajikumar lived apart from his wife, while Ajith and Binuraj were single. With Sajivkumar, they have been friends for several years and often met over drinks, police said, citing residents.

Explaining the sequence of killings and suicide, Thiruvananthapuram Rural SP Divya Gopinath told reporters on Thursday that of the three deaths, two were murders and another was suicide.

“Ajikumar was found dead during the sit-out of his house on January 31. We opened an investigation into this death, suspecting it to be a murder. He had a group of friends who regularly met at his house for drinks. After Ajikumar’s death, seven of his friends met that night, again for drinks, just 100 meters from his home. All had good relations with Ajikumar. Under the influence of alcohol, they became emotional and started asking about Ajikumar’s killer. A few of them started blaming one of the group members, Sajivkumar, who left the rally in anger,” the SP said.

According to the SP, Sajivkumar then returned with his mini-truck and joined the rally. “As the discussion continued over Ajikumar’s death, some of them again blamed Sajikumar. Eventually they settled the matter and decided to disperse. While three of them – Jaquilin, Pramod and Ajith – were walking ahead on the road, Sajivkumar got behind the wheel of his mini truck and rammed into them Ajith died instantly and two others were injured,” the SP said.

Sajikumar was arrested in connection with this murder.

The SP said that during the investigation into Ajikumar’s murder, police suspected the role of Binuraj, who attended both drinking parties – the one at Ajikumar’s house as well as the one after his death. “We were tracking him, but on Tuesday (February 1) we learned that he had been fatally hit by a bus. Based on the eyewitness account and other scientific evidence, we now assume that Binuraj had jumped in front of the bus. On the face of it, we are treating the matter as a suicide incident,” the officer said.

Regarding the trigger for Ajikumar’s murder, the SP said he had issues with Binuraj despite their friendship. “We are looking at all the factors and a final conclusion can only be made after gathering all the scientific evidence,” she said.

Comments are closed.