Kannur Squad, directed by Roby Varghese Raj, happens to be one of the best commercially mounted investigative thrillers to have come out of Malayalam cinema. This two-hour, forty-minute movie is about a squad assigned to investigate the murder of a rich businessman and nab the killers in ten days. Through this article, readers will understand the motives of the killers and how they were caught by this team of underdogs.
What Is The Kannur Squad?
Kannur Squad, as explained by ASI George Martin, were two subgroups created by his superior officers to be assigned many criminal cases that cannot be tended to by the regular force as many cases are registered daily at a police station. The movie begins with one group of Kannur Squad headed by George Martin, who came across a charred body hung from a tree in a bid to catch a criminal. The squad’s investigation took them to Coimbatore to catch the criminal. The highlight of this team was its authority to cross state borders for investigation purposes.
Why Was The Kannur Squad Assigned A High-Profile Case?
The local Kasaragod police station was under a lot of pressure to solve the murder of a rich NRI businessman, Abdul Wahab. Abdul Wahab was brutally murdered, while his son was beaten up, and his daughter was sexually assaulted. The police perceived the crime as a planned attack with the sole motive of robbery, which escalated into murder.
SP Manu Needhi Cholan of the Kasaragod district and his team seemed to have reached a dead end. ASI George Martin approached his superiors seeking to have the case handed over to his team amidst a bribery scandal. George insisted on working with the original team, as the four were always in sync with each other as professionals. One of their members, CPO Jayan, was accused of taking bribes, but George insists on keeping him on the team despite opposition from his superiors and other teammates. They work as pals, and it allows them to smoothly conclude the investigation with the right results.
How Did The Team Narrow Down The Killers?
Kannur Squad, headed by George Martin, was given 10 days to solve the murder, and they were able to find their first lead by tracking several phone numbers a few days before and after the murder, which was in the vicinity of the house where the crime was committed. The squad was given unlimited access to several crime databases to speed up the investigation. Their first lead, Riyas, was taken into custody. The forensics team had found urine and blood samples at the scene of the crime, which matched Riyas’ DNA. His call records matched up to the day of the murder, which made him an accomplice in the crime. Riyas reveals the role of Ameer and Zulfiqar in the robbery and murder, as the duo, along with two other Hindi-speaking men, were in dire need of money.
Riyas was a witness to Abdul Wahab having a lot of cash and informed the duo about it. The robbery was perfectly planned, but things went south when Ameer and his men could find only a handful of cash and gold. This angered Ameer, who raped Abdul’s young girl and killed him, and all of them have been absconding ever since. The squad was informed about their whereabouts by tracking all the incoming and outgoing calls out of Ameer and Zulfiqar’s home. The squad finally locates the duo in Mumbai.
What Was The Route The Squad Took?
The squad took their beloved vehicle to hunt Ameer and Zulfiqar. Given the number of days allotted to solve the murder, all four of them take it as a challenge and make an official road trip out of it. The condition of the squad is such that they are not given any extra money or provided with any kind of luxury to make sure the case is solved as soon as possible. The men will have to rely on whatever is given to them and make sure the case is solved with the fewest distractions.
The team reaches Mumbai, but they are unable to locate the duo in the city. Since Ameer and Zulfiqar’s home numbers were under surveillance, they got hold of their new location. The duo had managed to escape to Faizabad in Uttar Pradesh. The squad was perplexed by the route taken by these two men. The police officers were unable to crack the motive behind the crime and the reason why Ameer and Zulfiqar were taking an unusual route to avoid being arrested. The men who were on the run were intelligent because they sensed the police would trace their movement and refused to stick to using the same phone number. We wonder why the Kannur Squad did not send out pictures of these men and serve a lookout notice to make the police work easier.
Who Was Caught First?
On reaching Faizabad, the squad was assigned a local police constable, Yogesh Yadav, and along with him, they got hold of Pawan, who had links with Ameer and Zulfiqar and the other two men from Uttar Pradesh, who had committed the crime. All of them reach Tikri village to arrest Pawan, but the entire village turns into a mob to save him. Pawan’s arrest was a nightmare for the squad, and they barely escaped alive. It throws light on the rampant lawlessness that has engulfed the state of Uttar Pradesh and the unwillingness of the people to cooperate with the police. After a long standoff, Pawan was caught by the squad, and he revealed the location of the four men the squad was after. The investigation team had reached too close to their goal, and it was only possible because of their willingness to face all forms of adversity and finish the task assigned to them.
After an old-school police interrogation, Pawan finally reveals to the officers that his bosses, Ameer, Zulfiqar, Hathooda, and Bambiha were at Payagpur station at that moment. The goon also revealed that Ameer and Zulfiqar had spread their illegal ivory trade business throughout the country and were planning to expand it outside of India as well. They needed to move a huge consignment, which required a lot of capital. In a bid to fund their consignment, the four of them and Riyas committed robbery, assault, and murder. Pawan could have misled the police, but the man was confident that the squad could never reach his bosses. His arrogance came from the power and money Ameer and Zulfiqar showered on him.
How Does The Kannur Squad Catch Ameer And Zulfiqar?
The squad was only able to catch and detain Hathooda and Bambiha from the train headed to Babaganj, which is a town on the India-Nepal border. Ameer and Zulfiqar, at this point, were aware of the police hunting them and were able to further hoodwink the squad. Ameer and Zulfiqar were planning to cross the border and possibly never come back. ASI George was the first one to crack their plan to leave the country, and he ordered his team to head to Babaganj via road. The duo had been able to mislead the police so far because they were seasoned criminals.
ASI George Martin made sure to drive their good old Jeep at an enormous speed so that they could reach the bus headed toward Babaganj. This scene was solely added to showcase the powers of their old vehicle, which was able to sustain the speed at which George was driving. The squad was unable to get hold of Ameer and Zulfiqar from the bus because, like before, the duo misled the team once again.
George was desperate because he wanted to solve this case before the Kannur Squad was dismantled for good. He initially requested Hathooda and Bambiha to provide them with the location of Ameer and Zulfiqar, saying he was willing to not charge them with murder in return. George was keen on arresting Ameer and Zulfiqar because they were the conspirators of the crime as well, which would increase their sentence when the case went to court. George was getting the impression that Ameer and Zulfiqar were acting smug, and he wanted to break the illusion that they could not be caught.
Hathooda and Bambiha tried to mislead George and his team again, but the man was able to see through the lies these men concocted. George forces them to locate Ameer and Zulfiqar’s hideout. The squad was finally able to do that at the cost of their Jeep becoming completely damaged in the fight that began between Ameer’s men and George’s men. The final fight between George and Ameer was uncalled for because it felt like this was just executed for the theatrics. Since this is a commercial film, an extended fight sequence to showcase the machismo of the lead was a must.
Kannur Squad ends with the Forest Guard interrupting their fight, and George reveals Ameer’s identity to them. Ameer and Zulfiqar were finally arrested, and it was a vindication for the squad. The whole team was discouraged many times throughout their journey to leave the investigation midway. George took it up as a challenge and finished the task assigned to them. The only loss they suffered was the old Jeep. Kerala Police requested the criminals be brought back via flight to fast-track the case, but George wanted to teach these boys a lesson and decided to take the road, reenacting the manhunt in reverse. George felt this success was something else because this case almost killed their morale until Ameer and Zulfiqar were caught. The squad will finally be able to bring justice to Abdul Wahab’s family.