How accepting a lift to hospital left Kerala woman dead in shallow drain

Mujeeb, out on bail in a 2020 rape case, allegedly killed Anu while robbing the woman of her gold ornaments on 11 March night.

ByDileep V Kumar

Published Mar 18, 2024 | 10:01 PMUpdatedMar 19, 2024 | 8:53 AM


Accepting a lift to a hospital turned fatal for a woman in Kerala’s Kozhikode district, the police said.

What was initially considered to be a case of drowning turned out to be murder after local residents cried foul, saying a person could not drown in knee-deep water of the drain in which Anu, 26, of Kurungudi in Perambra was found dead.

Her body was found on 12 March, a day after she had reportedly gone missing. It was initially believed that she had slipped into the drain, and fell unconscious, leading to the drowning.

The police intensified the probe after the residents raised suspicion over the death. A postmortem examination strengthened their doubt.

The postmortem report hinted at foul play and indicated bruises on her body, suggesting a possible scuffle before her death.

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Police team attacked

Investigators went through the footage from CCTV cameras in the locality and found a motorcycle under suspicious circumstances. Further investigation revealed that the vehicle was a stolen one.

“We conducted an inquiry into recent theft cases and the persons involved. It was then that we found Mujeeb, a history sheeter. We asked him to come to the station. Though he agreed, he didn’t turn up,” a police officer told reporters.

The officer said a police team went to his house. He resisted and attacked the police, injuring an officer with a sharp object. He was overpowered and taken to the police station. His arrest was recorded on Sunday, 17 March.

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Crime trail

On questioning Mujeeb, the police learned that he had offered Anu a lift and then tried to rob the woman of her gold ornaments.

“She was on her way to a hospital. Her husband was waiting at some other place. As she walked briskly towards the main road, Mujeeb riding the motorcycle, spotted her and offered a lift,” the officer said.

“Since she was in a hurry and that place didn’t have options like an autorickshaw, she might have accepted the offer. She might have presumed that it might be someone in the locality,” he added.

The police said that after arriving at an isolated place Mujeeb stopped the motorcycle, dragged Anu to the drain, and trampled her to death.

Mujeeb was accused of raping a senior citizen case in 2020. He was out on bail in that case. Its trial was yet to begin.