Kochi/Aluva (Kerala), June 16: A 23-year-old Assamese man has been arrested in the rape-murder of a Dalit woman law student in Kerala that grabbed tiol headlines for the sheer brutality of the April 28 crime and became a hot political issue during the state assembly elections.
The Assamese man, identified as Amiyur ul Islam, was picked up from Tamil du near the Palakkad border two days ago. According to police, forensic and other evidence has shown the man's involvement in the crime, that was being compared to the December 16, 2012 Delhi gang rape.
B. Sandhya, Additiol Director General of Police, who headed the probe in the Jisha murder case, on Thursday said the arrest of the accused has been recorded.
"It was through an extensive probe that the accused was tracked down and filly taken into custody," Sandhya told reporters at the Aluva Police club, where the accused was brought.
Reacting to news of the arrest, the woman's mother Rajeshwari said: "He should be dealt with in the manner in which he assaulted my daughter, and after that he should be hanged to death."
"Not a single woman in the country should ever be made to undergo what my daughter underwent," said Rajeshwari.
Earlier in the day, Kerala Chief Minister Pirayi Vijayan, announcing the arrest, said in Kochi: "This is going to be a feather in the cap of the police probe team."
Sandhya led the police questioning of the suspect at Thrissur.
On Thursday evening, Islam was brought to Aluva where all the top police officers, including Sandhya, were present.
According to police, two vital clues turned out to be the clinching evidence for iling him -- the footwear which was left near Jisha's home and a photo of Islam and Jisha taken at a local studio near her house.
The footwear shop owner and the studio owner identified the man, even as police concluded, from the evidence, that the crime was committed by someone known to Jisha.
Islam had taken part in the construction of Jisha's home, and they were in touch and had some verbal duel over the construction.
According to the information, the Assamese man had come to her home on the morning of April 28 and they had a fight. He came again in the afternoon when he was drunk and committed the crime.
Police zeroed in on Islam after his D samples, checked against the saliva and blood samples found on Jisha's body, matched when the results came in on Thursday.
Director General of Police Lokth Behra, who is in Mumbai, told reporters there that things are going well in the case and expressed happiness at the Chief Minister's praise of the police force.
Jisha, 27, was found dead on April 28 at her home in Perumbavoor in Erkulam by her mother Rajeshwari, who works as a casual labourer. Her body bore injuries in a way that gave rise to suspicion that she was raped before being killed.
The murder attracted tiol headlines and became a hot topic in Kerala's election season. The Left Democratic Front (LDF) said it reflected the slide in law and order that the then ruling Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) had allowed, and promised to book the culprits within hours, if elected to power.
Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala said when the probe began (he was then Home Minister), and the probe team came out with a report that crucial evidence of a pair of footwear is going to be the clinching evidence, the media looked at it with disdain.
"See, now the same footwear has turned out to be the crucial evidence; so it means what happened during our time was on the right track," said Chennithala.
The LDF government, which assumed office on May 25, changed the entire team probing the case and replaced Director General of Police (DGP) T.P. Senkumar with Behra.