Kochi/Aluva (Kerala), June 16: Signalling a breakthrough in the Jisha murder case, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan announced on Thursday that "the suspect" -- an Assamese youth -- in the murder of the woman law student is in police custody while police said some forensic and other evidence have shown his involvement.
The prime accused in the crime, according to police, is 23-year-old Amiyur ul Islam, who was picked from Tamil Nadu near the Palakkad border two days back.
"This is certainly going to be a feather in the cap of the police probe team," Vijayan told reporters in Kochi about the investigation into the late April rape and brutal murder of the 27-year-old Dalit woman in Ernakulam district. [Jisha rape and murder case: Main suspect in police custody]
Additional Director General of Police B. Sandhya, who is heading the new probe team, told reporters in Aluva that things are very positive in the probe.
Islam was picked up by police two days back and Sandhya led his questioning at Thrissur. On Thursday evening he 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 nailing the perpetrator -- 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 youth even as police concluded, from the evidence, that the crime was committed by someone who knew 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 youth had come to her home in 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 DNA samples, checked against saliva and blood samples found on Jisha's body, matched when the results came in Thursday.
Director General of Police Loknath Behra, who is in Mumbai, told reporters there that things are all going well in the case and expressed happiness in the chief minister's praise of the police force.
Jisha was found dead on April 28 at her home in Perumbavoor in Ernakulam by her mother Rajeshwari, who works as a casual labourer. Her body bore injuries in a way that gave rise to suspicions that she was raped before being killed.
The murder attracted national headlines and became a cause celebre in Kerala's election season. The Left Democratic Front (LDF) said it reflected the slide in law and order that the ruling Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) had allowed, and promised to book the culprits within hours, if elected to power.
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.