The crime, which occurred in front of the building housing the Tata Consultancy Services at 7.30 p.m., was a typical mafia style hit-and-run operation

An eight-member gang trespassed into the “high security” Technopark campus here on Thursday evening and almost beat to death a youth who recently testified in court against those arraigned as accused in the gangland murder of “Aprani” Krishnakumar in 2007.

The police identified the victim as Ullas, the partner of a firm which rented cars to IT companies.

They said the crime, which occurred in front of the building housing the Tata Consultancy Services at 7.30 p.m., was a typical mafia style hit-and-run operation, involving several elements, including spotters, trackers, assailants on motorbikes and a back-up squad to facilitate their escape.

The attack caused quite a flutter in the State IT hub, which hosted scores of companies and employed more than 10,000 people.

Investigators said the attack on Ullas was the latest incident in a long-drawn-out and blood spattered feud between rival gangs over the sharing of profits from illegal reclamation of wetlands for construction and unauthorised mining of sand from the city’s heavily polluted canals.

Deputy Superintendent of Police, Attingal, B.K. Prasanthan said the main accused in the murder case had ordered the attack.

He said the assailants had pulverised Ullas’ face and caused serious internal injuries, including suspected broken ribs. The police have registered a case of attempted murder on the basis of Ullas’s statement.

On September 21, Ullas had told the court that his life was under threat. His mother deposed that an armed gang had threatened her that her son would be killed if he were to testify against the accused, most of them gangsters themselves.

Threat and warning

Second Additional Sessions Judge K.P. Indira had taken cognisance of their complaints and warned the defence counsels that the bail accorded to their clients would be cancelled forthwith, if any of them was found guilty of attempting to influence the outcome of the trial through extra-judicial and criminal means. However, the police, which registered a case on her direction, were yet to arrest or question any body.

According to the prosecution, Ullas was with Krishnakumar when an armed gang ambushed his vehicle and hacked the gang leader to death near Chakka on February 20, 2007.

The main accused in the case are Om Prakash, Ambalamukku Krishnakumar, Kochu Vava, Jamanthi Arun, Saju Lal, Venukuttan (all of whom had been detained earlier in preventive custody under the State’s anti-goonda law) and Prasanth, a businessman.

The police were yet to execute the arrest warrants against four wanted men named as accused in the case. They were Karate Suresh, Peeli Shibu, Three-D Arun and Amir.