Cong workers held for woman's murder

Two Congress functionaries, including a member of a minister’s personal staff, were arrested late on Monday in connection with the murder of a woman at the party’s block office in Nilambur in the northern district of Malappuram in Kerala.

Biju (38), member of the personal staff of Minister for Power Nilambur Aryadan Muhammed, and K Shamsuddin (29) were arrested in connection with the murder of Radha (49), a sweeper at the block office. Radha's body was found on Sunday in a sack that was dumped in a pond about 10 km from the block office. Police recovered Radha’s jewellery from Shamsuddin’s home on Tuesday.

According to a complaint filed by her family, she had been missing since last Wednesday.
The post-mortem report is learnt to have suggested that the woman was raped before she was killed, but the Nilambur police dismissed the report, saying they were awaiting the results of more tests.

Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala has ordered a special investigation into the case under Thrissur Range IG S Gopinath.

According to the police, Biju and Shamsuddin strangled Radha to death at the block office on February 5 in retaliation to repeated attempts by her to blackmail Biju with threats of exposing his extramarital affair. They later carried the body in a sack and dumped it in the pond. The duo also left the victim’s mobile phone at another location in an attempt to divert the course of the investigation.

Meanwhile, Radha’s brother Bhaskaran told reporters that the duo could have admitted to the crime to protect others involved in the murder.

He also claimed that there had been previous attempts to harm Radha.

Aryadan Muhammed removed Biju from his staff and said on Tuesday he was ready to face any investigation in connection with the murder.

But the case has already taken political dimensions, with the main opposition party CPM holding protests in Nilambur demanding a high-level investigation into the murder.

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