Grant of bail to all accused in accident case stumps investigators

Crime Branch begins interviewing witnesses in hotel party preceding tragedy

The Crime Branch (CB), which on Friday took over the probe into the accident at Chakkaraparambu, is staring at a difficult task with the magistrate court granting bail to all the accused, including the owner of the hotel where the victims had allegedly partied late into the night.

The Crime Branch will now have to rely mostly on witness statements. Additional Commissioner K. P. Philip, who is holding the charge of the District Police Chief (Kochi City), will supervise the investigation.

The accident had claimed three lives, including two promising models, while returning from the hotel in Fort Kochi in the wee hours of November 1.

What was initially considered an accident turned controversial after it emerged that the hard disc containing the footage of the party was allegedly destroyed by the hotel owner and his staff and that another car had tailed the ill-fated car before it met with an accident.

Sources said that the possibility of retrieving the party visuals remain slim since the visuals were not recorded on any storage device other than the hard disk.

To overcome the obstacle, the investigating team has started the painstaking process of interviewing every possible witness to find if any offence was committed in the party that night. About 50 persons reportedly attended the party.

While speculation is rife about the presence of a VIP at the party, the police continue to deny it, claiming that there was no evidence to suggest that.

Meanwhile, the police are about to file a report in the High Court in response to the anticipatory bail petition moved by Syju Thankachan, who allegedly followed the ill-fated car.

He had claimed all along that he had followed the victims in an attempt to stop the drunk Abdul Rahman, the driver of the ill-fated car and first accused in the case, from driving.

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