Four persons in an unnumbered vehicle trailed the car

Three persons who were travelling in a car to Kerala were assaulted and waylaid in the small hours of Wednesday on the National Highway. According to the Kinathukadavu Police, four persons in an unnumbered car trailed the car which Rafiq, 40, drove with Zachariah, 37 and Unni alias Manoharan as passengers.

The three were returning from Salem after meeting Zachariah’s brother-in-law Babu alias Kuttikal Babu, who runs a bakery opposite the Salem Steel Plant.

Around 3.20 a.m. when they were near the J.J. Nagar Bridge, an unnumbered car hit their car from the rear.

A little later the incident recurred.

This time the driver Raifq stopped the car to enquire as to why the four who were trailing in the car and the driver was driving in a reckless manner.

As soon as Rafiq and Zachariah got down from their vehicle, the four passengers of the rear car also got down. They were armed with iron rods, knives and other weapons.

The four rushed towards Zachariah and Rafiq and assaulted them. On seeing the two being assaulted, Unni jumped out of the car and ran to safety.

The Kinathukadavu Police Inspector D. Thangaraj said that the accused struck Zachariah on his head and hit him on his left forearm and right hand fingers. And at knife-point, Zachariah and Rafiq were pushed and the accused took away the car along with the Rs. 11,500 that was in the dashboard cabinet.

A Highway Patrol team that passed through the spot a little later, stopped at the scene of crime, inquired with the three persons and took them to a nearby private hospital. The team also informed the Coimbatore Rural Police headquarters, from where an alert message was sent across to policemen at check-posts.

Mr. Thangaraj said later in the day, a team he led found Zachariah’s abandoned car in Kamanaickenpalayam Police Station limits in Tirupur district. The cash the accused had taken lay strewn around. The accused had also damaged the car, including the seats.

Mr.Thangaraj added that it could be a case of business rivalry.

Meanwhile, unconfirmed reports said the accused had taken away Zachariah’s car, in which he had carried more than Rs. 20 lakh.

The Police have registered a case in this connection. A hunt is on for the four persons.

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