Police on Monday informed the Kerala High Court that criminal lawyer C P Udayabhanu has been listed as the seventh accused in the case of alleged murder of a real estate dealer in Thrissur last month. The court, which is considering the lawyer’s anticipatory bail plea, had earlier restrained the police from arresting him.
Real estate dealer Veeranparambil Rajeev, 46, was found strangulated in a deserted building near Chalakkudy on September 30. Police arrested six persons, including a four-member killer gang, and a real estate broker who had allegedly assigned the supari, police sources said.
Udayabhanu has been under suspicion since the murder. The killed real estate broker had complained to the state police chief in July this year that he was facing threat from the lawyer and a real estate broker, C O Johny, from Ankamali in Ernakulam.
The sources said Udayabhanu was close to Rajeev, who used to make land deals for the advocate. CCTV footage from Rajeev’s house had shown Udayabhanu visiting him several times and holding discussions with Rajeev over some documents.
The police said their relationship soured over a failed deal. Udayabhanu had claimed that he had paid Rs 3.4 crore to Rajeev to buy 17 acres in Palakkad. But Rajeev allegedly handed over only Rs 50 lakh to the land owner.
After analysing call details, it was reportedly found that Udayabhanu contacted the killer gang after the murder. The gang also spoke about the role of the advocate. The court will consider the lawyer’s bail plea on October 23.
Udayabhanu represented the prosecution in several criminal cases, including the murder of a security guard by beedi tycoon Mohammed Nisham.