Shalu murder: protest march deferred on police request

Investigators claim to have identified all suspects in closed circuit TV footage

The march to the Police Commissioner’s office planned by a State-level collective of transgender activists seeking the arrest of those behind the murder of the transgender woman Shalu has been postponed following a request from the special investigation squad entrusted with the probe.

Leaders of the collective said they had decided to postpone the march planned for May 21 as the police team claimed a major breakthrough in the investigation.

“We are convinced of their explanation and happy with the status of the ongoing inquiry. The intention behind the announcement of such a protest march was to draw the attention of the higher officers to the incident and to express our concerns on the delaying arrest,” said Cicily George, one of the activists who took up the case with the police.

She said the activists’ collective would move to stronger modes of protests if the police failed to keep up their promise.

Police officials now part of the special investigation team said they had managed to identify all those who were caught on the closed circuit cameras installed along UKS Road, where the body of the victim was found.

“The initial hurdle was to recognise the faces of those caught on the camera and we managed to overcome it with the technical support of the hi-tech cell,” they said.

Police sources confirmed that they had got reliable evidence to establish the reasons behind the murder and information about those directly involved in the incident. More details could be revealed only at the final stage of investigation, they said.

It was on April 1 that the body of the 35-year-old transgender woman hailing from Kannur district was found on the city road. Though the police took into custody some of the suspects, they were found to have no involvement in the incident. Later, a special investigation squad was formed to intensify the probe with the technical support of the hi-tech cell.

Till date, the special investigation team interrogated more than 50 persons in connection with the case, the offiicials said.

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