Kerala Police Crime Branch on Friday has arrested Saiju Thankachan, the driver of the vehicle that followed the two models, who died in a car crash in Kochi in the wee hours of November 1.
According to a report in India Today, the two models were allegedly offered drugs at a party which they refused. But, Thankachan, who had made the offer, followed the vehicle carrying the models in his Audi, the report quoted police as saying.
A former Miss Kerala and runner-up were killed after their car overturned near Kochi, while trying to avoid hitting a two-wheeler, on November 1. On the surface, the incident seemed like an unfortunate accident that claimed the lives of Ansi Kabeer (winner of Miss Kerala 2019) and Anjana Shajan (a runner-up at the same event). The two were returning home after a party at No 18 Hotel in Fort Kochi.
The incident occurred past midnight and although it seemed like an accident, cops spotted many red flags and discrepancies, and almost two weeks after the deaths of the models, the Kerala Police began working backwards on the chain of events prior to the accident to rule out any foul play.
Police said that Saiju Thankachan has connections with many drug peddlers in the city. Thankachan appeared before the investigation team after he was served a notice in the case. Saiju was absconding for some period and sought anticipatory bail.
The report said that he has been booked under charges of following the models with wrongful intent and for endangering their lives by acting rashly and negligently. A report in Mathrubhumi said that he was also booked under charges for cheating in another case.
The report further said that the visuals of the party at the hotel were removed and the hard disk was later thrown into Vembanad lake by the staff of the hotel at the behest of hotel owner Roy Vayalat. He was arrested and later released on bail.
The case was later handed over to the crime branch. Police found out that the models were suspiciously followed in vehicles even before the night of the accident.
The investigation team had been looking for the hard disk in the lake near Kannangattu bridge. However, nothing came out of it, the report said.