Kozhikode hotelier was killed after he refused to pay Rs 5 lakh

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Tirur: Exact details of the brutal murder of Tirur-based hotelier Siddique Mechery have come out as the probe and evidence-gathering intensified.

The young trio, who have been arrested for the crime, had lured Siddique into a honey trap after conspiring to extort Rs 5 lakh from him, but they killed him in five minutes when he resisted.

The accused are: Muhammad Shibili (22), Khadijat Farhana (19), and Ashiq (Chiku–23).

Co-accused Farhana was the first to arrive at the hotel room in Eranhipalam in Kozhikode district after he booked a room in his name. Both had spoken with each other for half an hour. Soon, her lover and accomplice in the crime Shibili reached the room. 

Farhana was the daughter of a person known to Siddique. Shibili had earlier worked at Siddique’s restaurant in Kozhikode. The three carried on the conversations as they were acquaintances.

The scene, however, suddenly changed as the third accused, Ashiq, stormed into the room. The trio tried to take a nude picture of Siddique as part of the conspiracy. Shibili pointed a knife at Siddique and demanded money. But the hotelier put up a stiff resistance. Farhana then took out a hammer kept in her bag and handed it over to Shibili who struck Siddique’s head with it.

The murder happened within five minutes of Ashiq’s arrival in the room, according to the police investigation.

The accused likely did not get help from anyone else in the incident, but the police will continue the investigation based on the phone calls and other data in the phone of the accused. 

Farhana’s interrogation
During interrogation, Farhana admitted to the police that she had asked a friend from a southern district to come to Kozhikode on the day of the incident. But he refused as he was not free. He was likely unaware of the crime plot. Police sources said he could be made a witness in the case.

 Farhana was questioned on the basis of the information traced from the phone. 

Police to seek custody
Meanwhile, the police will file applications in court for the custody of the arrested persons.

If custody is granted, police plan to gather evidence today by taking the accused to the De Casa Inn at Eranjipalam Junction where Siddique was murdered; the electrical appliance shop at Pushpa Junction from where the cutter used to dismember the body was purchased; shops on SM Street from where the trolley bags to place the body parts were purchased; and Siddique’s hotel at Olavanna where Shibli had worked.  

The chilling crime
Siddique was murdered on May 18. The trio pinned him on the ground, hit his head with a hammer, and kicked his chest repeatedly until he died after he refused their direction to take off his clothes and pose nude for a picture with the intention of extorting money from him. The accused then chopped off the body with an electric cutter before packing it in two trolley bags and dumping the same in a gorge at Agali in Attappadi. They also disposed of the electric cutter, the victim’s clothes, and other evidence materials at the secluded Cheeratta Mala, 5 km from Angadipuram in Perinthalmanna. The cops recovered all the evidence the other day.

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