Varkala shoot out: Police arrested tour operator for attempt to murder

Praveen Samuel

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The tour operator who opened fire at one of the partners of a cafe near the helipad atop the cliff at the beach resort of Varkala on Tuesday has been slapped with attempt to murder charges by the police. According to the police, 30-year-old Sebin Philip, son of Philip Devasia of Aaryad Taluk in Alappuzha, opened fire at around 5.30 p.m. at Shyam Kumar, son of Gopalakrishnan of ‘Chammanadi house,’ and a partner of Darjeeling Cafe. The incident triggered panic among the holidayers. Although Mr. Kumar narrowly escaped from the bullet fired at him, he was injured in the scuffle as the accused tried to attack him with the knife that he carried. On seeing the Tourism police and hotel staff rushing to the spot, Sebin escaped from the cafe. Additional police personnel who rushed to the spot nabbed him from a restaurant building on the southern side of the cliff and recovered the weapons. The accused, who had been running a tour operating company for the past three years, used an unlicenced revolver that was purchased from Bihar, police said. The attack was a result of previous grudge between the two over the canvassing of the tourists who arrived at the cafe. Sebin has been slapped with attempt to murder charges. The accused had already served jail time for two attempted murder cases registered at Alappuzha North police station, the police said. The accused was produced in Varkala court and remanded in judicial custody for 15 days. Mr. Kumar did not suffer any serious injuries. The police team, led by Varkala Police Inspector Mr. P.V. Ramesh Kumar and including Varkala Additional Sub-Inspector Mr. Andrew Gromik, Varkala Tourism Sub-Inspector Mr. Sajan, Assistant Sub- Inspectors, Mr. Vijaya Kumar and Mr. Anil Kumar, were behind the arrest.

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