Four days ago, a 27-year-old youth who got down from a bus that arrived Mattuthavani Integrated Bus Stand shortly after midnight had a harrowing experience.

As he was about to get out of the bus stand, a 40-year-old man approached him. After a brief conversation, the passenger followed the man to an isolated area near the bus stand. After a while, the passenger returned with bleeding injuries. In a serious condition, he was rushed to Government Rajaji Hospital in the ‘108' ambulance service. After treatment, his condition was said to be stable.

According to his confession, the man (who was identified as a broker) had lured the young man to indulge in an unnatural offence. After a few minutes, he was manhandled and relieved of his two-sovereign chain, some cash and other valuables, police said.

Narrating the incident, an investigating officer said that gullible passengers, particularly lone men, who arrive at the bus stand, were lured by brokers and made them indulge in unnatural offences. As there was no complaint, the police were unaware of the crimes. However, since the Tuticorin youth who suffered bleeding injuries preferred a complaint, a case was registered and the accused was arrested, he added.

Interrogations with the accused revealed that a gang was operating in bus stands at Mattuthavani and Arapalayam. After luring young passengers and taking them to a secluded place, the gang assaulted them and relieved their belongings. Since the victims preferred not to lodge a complaint with the police, the issue remained unknown. With the incident coming to light, the police have swung into action.

Commissioner of Police P. Balasubramanian has ordered a thorough probe and visited with his officers the Mattuthavani Integrated Bus Stand on the subsequent night of the incident and checked the points of arrival. He told The Hindu that the menace of brokers luring passengers would not be there henceforth. Plainclothesmen would keep a watch on the goings on in the bus stand at night and brokers or tricksters caught.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime) V. Jeyashri said that all isolated areas around bus stands would be closely watched.

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