Custodial interrogation necessary to unearth criminal conspiracy angle, says court
Ravi Pujari, who was arrested in connection with the Panampilly Nagar beauty parlour firing case, was given to the custody of the Anti-Terrorism Squad of the Kerala Police for nine days.
The squad will get the accused in its custody from May 31.
Allowing the prayer of the squad, C. Deepu, Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, noted that the custody of the accused, who was the alleged kingpin in the case, was essential for the progress of the investigation. The custodial interrogation of the accused, who allegedly operated the deal from an African country, was also required to look into the complicity of all the accused in the case, the court noted.
The police case is that the accused had allegedly hired two persons in 2018 to open fire outside the beauty parlour run by actor Leena Maria Paul at Panampilly Nagar in Kochi. The police had arrested two persons and recovered arms and ammunition from them.
The court felt that the custody of Pujari was necessary for the investigating officer to unearth the criminal conspiracy angle of the case. Nisam Salim and Ajas, two of the five accused in the case, are absconding and believed to be staying abroad. The investigation officer needs to locate their hideouts to nab them. Pujari may be able to furnish details of the absconding accused. Moreover, investigation has to be conducted to trace the source of the firearm used by the first two accused, the court felt.
Opposing the plea of the squad, the counsel for the accused contended that he shall not be tried for any offence other than the one specified in his extradition order. However, details of a case booked against him in Kerala were found mentioned in the extradition documents, the court noted.
Incidentally, Pujari was extradited from Senegal with the help of Interpol and is currently housed at the Parappana Agrahara Central Prison in Bengaluru.
After an online interaction with the accused, the judge found him to be mentally and physically fit to be given in police custody.
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