Murder suspects produced before judge via Google Duo

In a first, murder suspects produced before judge via Google Duo

RT Nagar police have arrested two persons Rajesh Kumar and Sujith Kumar Swain in connection with the murder of Ashok alias Kishore. (DH Photo)

In a first, Bengaluru police used Google Duo, a video-calling app, to produce two murder suspects before the court. The suspects had escaped from Karnataka in a goods auto and were caught in Telangana, police said. 

Jharkhand native Rajesh Kumar, 32, and Odisha native Sujit Kumar Swain, 24, are accused of fatally stabbing their friend, Ashok alias Kishore, 28, during a fight over liquor in the early hours of May 7. 

Rajesh worked as the main cook at a city restaurant and Sujit was his helper. Rajesh lived in Mathadahalli and Ashok was his roommate. Sujit lived in Allalasandra. 

On the night of May 6, the three men went to Rajesh’s house and had drinks. They wanted to buy liquor for the next day. Rajesh said neither he nor Sujit was left with any money and asked Ashok to spare some cash.

But Ashok said some money was still there in the puja room and suggested that they use it. Rajesh didn’t like the idea and said the money belonged to him and refused to part with it. A fight broke out, during which Rajesh grabbed a knife and stabbed Ashok. 

Sujit thought Ashok might reveal their names if he survived, so he stabbed him multiple times, killing him. But the duo had to abandon the body in Rajesh’s house. They quickly packed their belongings and left. They managed to board a goods vehicle by posing as migrants. 

But before long, the jurisdictional RT Nagar police, headed by the inspector V J Mithun Shilpi, traced the workers to Telangana. Police rushed to Warangal and caught them on Sunday. 

The suspects were taken to a local hospital where doctors took their throat samples for Covid-19 testing. 

But since the police are legally required to produce criminal suspects before the court within 24 hours of their arrest, they produced them before the 32nd additional chief metropolitan magistrate (ACMM) via Google Duo. The judge, Hattikal Prabhu Siddappa, remanded the suspects in police custody until May 14. 

A police officer said the suspects would be physically produced before the court after their test results arrived on May 14.