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Two held in Connection with Latvian Tourist's Rape, Murder in Kerala

The two accused, Umesh and Udayan, are drug peddlers. The entire investigation was conducted on circumstantial evidence using scientific methods. Efforts are also on to ascertain if any more people are directly or indirectly involved in the case, he said.

Neethu Reghukumar | CNN-News18

Updated:May 3, 2018, 6:11 PM IST
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Two held in Connection with Latvian Tourist's Rape, Murder in Kerala
The Centre's decision came in the wake of a nationwide outrage over rape and murder of a minor in Kathua in Jammu and Kashmir.
Thiruvananthapuram: Two youth were arrested on Thursday in connection with the rape and murder of a Latvian tourist, whose highly decomposed body was found from a mangrove forest near Kovalam on April 21, police said.

The two accused, Umesh and Udayan, are drug peddlers, they said. The entire investigation was conducted on circumstantial evidence using scientific methods, DGP Loknath Behara told reporters here. The accused have been charged under IPC sections 302 (murder), 376 (rape) and 20(b) of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances NDPS Act.

The cremation of the woman will be held here later this evening and her ashes will be flown to her native place by her sister, police said.

A Special Investigation Team was formed by the police and a massive search launched to trace the woman.They had also announced a reward of Rs two lakh for anyone providing information about the missing woman.

The 33-year-old woman, who had come to Kerala for ayurvedic treatment for depression, had gone missing from Kovalam on March 14.

The police said the accused drugged her and took her to the forest area, where they sexually assaulted and murdered her. As per the investigation, the woman was killed on March 14, the same day she went missing.

Thiruvanthapuram Range IG, Manoj Abraham, who led the special investigation team, said the police have both circumstantial and scientific evidence.

DGP Loknath Behra lauded the investigation team for arresting the accused in 10 days. "An innocent woman has lost her life. This was extremely unfortunate and brutal. It should not happen to any woman. We have made a water tight case,” he said.

Both the accused have about 18 cases against them related to drugs and other anti-social activities, the cops said.

The case has also raised concerns about tourist security. The woman’s body was found in an area near the Kovalam beach. Police said they are reviewing the situation as the Kovalam beach area is not covered by security cameras.

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