V. Rupesh Kumar (25) of Ponmeni was hacked to death by a six-member gang in a narrow by-lane off Thalaivirithan Lane on Tuesday evening.

The police said the assailants mistook Rupesh Kumar for his elder brother ‘Kattaiyan’ V. Ranjith, a murder case accused, and assaulted him with deadly weapons even as Ranjith managed to escape from the gang.

The police said ‘Kattaiyan’ Ranjith, along with his aide Sakthi, had murdered one Muthukumar in Sellur in 2006. Sakthi was killed by one Meenakshisundaram in 2011.

Muthukumar’s brother ‘Sellur’ Ranjith Kumar joined hands with Meenakshisundaram to bump off ‘Kattaiyan’ Ranjith to avenge his brother’s murder, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) R. Thirunavukkarasu said. On Tuesday, Rupesh Kumar had accompanied his brother ‘Kattaiyan’ Ranjith to the District Court, where he appeared before the Judicial Magistrate Court. When they were in the court, ‘Kattaiyan’ Ranjith had noticed Meenakshisundaram on the court premises and realised that he was being watched. “Then, the brothers had exchanged their T-shirts in an attempt to cover ‘Kattaiyan’ Ranjith,” Mr. Thirunavukkarasu said.

When the brother came out of the court complex on a motorcycle, the assailants chased them on three two-wheelers. The gang knocked down the brothers near LIC Office on West Marret Street. Immediately, ‘Kattaiyan’ Ranjith and Rupesh Kumar started running to save their lives, with the assailants closely following them.

While ‘Kattaiyan’ Ranjith managed to flee through Thalaivirithan Lane, his younger brother who entered a narrow by-lane got trapped at the dead-end. The gang inflicted multiple cut injuries on him, killing him on the spot at around 4.30 p.m. Thideer Nagar police picked up a suspect. This is the second murder reported in the city in the last three days. On Sunday, S.Mathiazhagan (42) of Vanidyur was hacked to death on the Southern Bank of the Vaigai.

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