A crime inspired by the Malayalam film “Anjaam Pathiraa”

Vishnupriya apparently knew this was going to happen. “Shyamettan has come. He could do something,” she told her friend on the phone before she was stabbed to death in a crime of passion.

The 22-year-old woman from Kannur’s Panur was murdered by her jilted lover Shyamjith on October 2, 2022. Even as a Thalassery court is set to pronounce its verdict in the case on Friday, police said Shyamjith took inspiration from ‘a Malayalam film. , ‘Anjaam Pathiraa’, to murder the woman.

Investigation revealed that Shyamjith had imitated the murderer in the film and donned the same costume during his visit to Vishnupriya. Although there were no witnesses to the crime, the investigation team led by Panur circle inspector MP Azad submitted the charge sheet within 34 days.

Investigators relied on circumstantial and scientific evidence and call detail records (CDRs) to submit the indictment. Officer Azad said the accused was charged under sections 449 and 302 of the IPC, which would fetch him life imprisonment if convicted.

Love in the time of COVID
Shyamjith and Vishnupriya’s sister were classmates. During COVID days, he contacted Vishnupriya’s sister through online classes and became friends with the deceased woman.

Their friendship quickly turned into a relationship. However, Shyamjith often harbored suspicions towards Vishnupriya, which created cracks in their relationship. Angered by this, she eventually told him she was not interested in continuing the relationship. However, Shyamjith refused to listen to him.

What provoked Shyamjith?
After breaking up with Shyamjith, Vishnupriya visited Wayanad, where she met a photographer from Ponnani. He took the photos of Vishnupriya and his friends and took the woman’s phone number to forward the photos. Later, the photographer and Vishnupriya fell in love and Shyamjith, who came to know about the affair, threatened them both.

Shyamjith followed and intercepted Vishnupriya and the photographer when they were going to Ancharakandi medical college to collect a certificate. He told the photographer that he was in love with the woman and asked the other young people to photograph his relationship with her. But the couple refused. The investigation team said that Shyamjith then decided to murder Vishnupriya.

Lessons from “Anjaam Pathiraa”
The accused planned the murder after taking inspiration from the crime thriller ‘Anjaam Pathiraa’. He dressed in a black T-shirt, gloves and a helmet and bought a hammer from a shop in Koothuparamba. Shyamjith was then working in his uncle’s hardware store after completing his B.Com. He made the knife at the store. Shyamjith learned how to make the knife from a blacksmith. Although the blacksmith was a witness, he was hostile but later revealed the truth in court.

Investigation revealed that Shyamjith had imitated the murderer in the film ‘Anjaam Pathiraa’. File photo

After making the knife, Shyamjith went to the hospital where Vishnupriya worked. Realizing she wasn’t there, he headed towards her house. Vishnupriya was chatting with her friend in Malappuram on a video call after attending a function at her uncle’s house when Shyamjith arrived. “Shyamettan has come. He could do something,” she told her friend.

Even as she spoke about Shyamjith, he bludgeoned Vishnupriya’s head with the hammer, before severing the nerves of her limbs and neck. He then stabbed her several times. His body had 26 wounds.

After committing the crime, the accused returned home and took a shower. He threw the weapons and other materials used in the crime into a nearby pond.

Meanwhile, Vishnupriya’s friend, who had realized that Shyamjith was in the woman’s room, contacted a police officer he knew. The police officer immediately alerted the Panur police. Later, the cops traced the location of Shyamjith’s mobile phone to Mananthery near Koothuparamba. He was helping his father at his father’s hotel when the police arrived.

Although Shyamjith initially denied any role, he later admitted to the crime. The next day, police recovered the weapons from the pond. The weapons still bore traces of human blood.

Investigators collected the CCTV footage of Shyamjith purchasing the hammer and visiting the woman’s house. Three people had seen him visiting and returning from her home.

Society must change, says Adv Cuckoo Devaki
Human rights activist and lawyer Cuckoo Devaki has called for a change in social mindset to avoid a repeat of such horrific incidents. “Lovers become possessive of their partner. Pride is at stake here,” she said.

“Men consider that they lose their self-esteem as soon as their partner says ‘no’ to the relationship, and they continue to stalk the woman,” she added.

A life sentence is equivalent to 14 years in prison. A 25-year-old sentenced to life will be imprisoned until the age of 39. Whenever such crimes of passion occur, the woman concerned is also questioned. “You were involved too,” is the question often asked. This trivializes such cases, said lawyer Devaki.

“Such cases often lose their seriousness when they reach court. In addition, some responses also try to protect the accused. This mindset should change. The idea that boys are privileged should change. L Equality should not be preached, but implemented.

Children must be made aware of the Constitution and equality. Boys should be made aware of the law. “You are dead, you are buried” is still the attitude of many. This means that our social norms have not changed much,” she added.