One of the victims had expressed fear that police were gunning for him

The mood of the visitors near the mortuary of Government Rajaji Hospital here was sombre on Saturday.

From 9.30 a.m. onwards, relatives of Prabhu and Bharathi started arriving here from their hometown Sivaganga in cars and vans. They were shot dead on Friday night near Manamadurai when a police team led by DSP Manamadurai Velladurai opened fire after the duo allegedly attacked them.

The relatives, particularly youngsters, maintained that Prabhu was shot dead by the police in a planned manner. The police were maintaining stoic silence over the sequence of events.

“Nobody wants to tell the truth to us,” said Paraman of Aavarankaadu village. “The State government should release Rs. 10 lakh as compensation to the family members of Prabhu and Bharathi for such brutal killing. A sitting HC judge should conduct a probe. The government should direct the police to register murder cases against the police team and until the inquiry is complete, all the accused should be placed under suspension …”

Women who were sitting in a corner of the mortuary recalled some of the murmurings made by their dear ones in prisons.

“Last week, Prabhu was telling us that he would be no more as police were after his blood … He had requested to the authorities not to take him outside the prisons for court appearances.”

The end had come as he had foretold, said the women, weeping uncontrollably.

Many youths from Vembattur, Pacheri, Avarankaadu villages from the neighbouring Sivaganga district were unable to digest that their friends were no more.

Sensing trouble, the police moved the ambulance inside the mortuary and, after getting the bodies shifted, the vehicle moved straight to Sivaganga.

Deputy Commissioner of Police R. Thirunavukkarasu was supervising security bandobust arrangements.