Targets included two newly-married couples who lost 25 sovereigns of gold and Rs. 21,500 in cash
Masked men robbed three houses at Koothappanpatti near Melur in the early hours of Thursday.
Their targets included two newly-married couples who lost 25 sovereigns of gold and Rs. 21,500 in cash. While one of the couples yielded to the threat of the armed robbers and handed over the valuables, a young man in the other house was brutally assaulted when he offered resistance. The robbers broke open five wooden doors in the two houses using a crowbar.
In the first incident, the robbers gained entry into one of the houses of a financier, Thavamani alias Maruthappan, past midnight. It is in this house that Thavamani’s younger son, T. Ilangovan, who got married on November 14, used to stay with his wife. Luckily, the newly-wed couple had gone to the girl’s house only on Wednesday evening. After rummaging through the cupboards, the gang could lay its hands only on a mobile phone and Rs. 1,500 in cash.
Next, they broke open Thavamani’s house in the adjacent building. Thavamani, his wife, and his elder son T. Balasubramanian (32) and his family were asleep in two rooms. Hearing the noise of a door being broken open, Balasubramanian emerged out of the room. “Suddenly, one of them hit my face with a sharp iron object resulting in a bleeding injury on my right cheek,” he said.
However, the courageous youth put up a fight with the assailant and shoved him. But another robber hit him with the crowbar on his shoulder. Meanwhile, Thavamani came out and charged towards the robber. While Balasubramanian pushed the robber out of the door, the family members closed the door behind him and held it tight from inside.
The police were informed. Even while the police were making enquiries on their arrival at Thavamani’s residence, the robbers had walked through the jungle-like growth in the village and gained entry into an isolated house some 500 metres away at around 2.45 a.m.
Here, another newly-wed couple, T. Rajagopal (32) and his wife Nandhini (18), were asleep in one of the two bedrooms.
After breaking open the front wooden door and the bedroom door, one of the gang members placed a machete on Rajagopal’s neck and made him lie on the bed.
In an act of intimidation, the man clasped Nandhini’s hair and asked her to remove her jewels. “When she hesitated to remove the ‘thali,’ the man threatened to kill me,” Rajagopal said. After taking the jewels from her, one of them went through the marriage photo album and demanded the couple to bring the other jewels the girl was wearing on her wedding day.
“After taking the remaining jewels and 10 silk saris from the almirahs in the house, they walked out after warning us against raising alarm,” Rajagopal said.
Superintendent of Police V. Balakrishnan, who inspected the scenes of crime, said it looked as if the young couples were targeted for the gold. Somebody who had knowledge about the couples’ possession of gold could have passed on information to the robbers. Fingerprints were lifted from the houses, he added.