Youth Congress leader taken into custody in AKG center attack case

The Crime Branch arrested a Youth Congress leader in connection with the attack on AKG Center, the state headquarters of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI (M)]Thursday.

Kerala Police have made a breakthrough in the case nearly three months after the incident which had heightened political tensions in the state.

Also Read: Attack on AKG Center Scripted by CPI(M), Says KPCC Chairman K. Sudhakaran

Suspect and evidence

Jithin V. Kulathoor, the chairman of Attipra constituency of the Congress feeder organization, was arrested by a crime branch team from his home around 8.30 a.m. While currently being interrogated in Jawahar Nagar in the city, his arrest is likely to be recorded soon, according to official sources.

Police relied heavily on circumstantial and scientific evidence to zero in on the Youth Congress leader. Investigators claim a taxi he hired from the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB), a T-shirt and a pair of shoes proved crucial in the investigation.

While police had previously identified a scooter used by the assailant who threw the low-level explosive at the AKG center around 11:25 p.m. on June 30, they were unable to seize the vehicle. However, he scanned CCTV footage to find the scooter traveling the inner roads of Kunnukuzhy and Gowreeshapattom before stopping near a taxi in Gowreeshapattom.

While the car displayed a KSEB nameplate, it was later learned that the vehicle was being used by the power company’s deputy executive engineer Kazhakuttom, who told police he had returned the vehicle to Jihin, its owner, around 6:30 p.m. on June 30 after the working day.

Second line of investigation

Detectives pursued another line of investigation by identifying the clothing worn by the assailant by enhancing grainy footage recovered from the party office. The t-shirt is believed to match a particular design sold by a popular outlet, whose employees told police that Jithin was among about 10 customers who bought it. The Youth Congress leader was found to have worn shoes in images uploaded to his Facebook profile similar to the one identified by the CCTV footage, sources said.

In addition, the suspect was accused of having formatted his mobile phone when he was previously summoned for questioning. However, his mobile phone records would have revealed his presence in Gowreeshapattom at the time of the incident.