The arrest of notorious gangster Kumar, alias Ammakku Oru Makan Soju, from his hideout at a dargah in Ajmer district of Rajasthan was the culmination of a two-month-long meticulous operation by the special city police team sent to Rajasthan.

Soju, prime accused in the September 4 murder of tipper lorry driver Saji here, was absconding for the past two months. He was arrested by a special team headed by Fort Assistant Commissioner K.S. Suresh Kumar and which included inspectors Sheen Tharayil, R. Shivkumar, K.V. Ramanan, Sreekumar, S. Suresh and Hemant Hasan.

The police were on the lookout for Soju in the State and outside after the murder. The team was stationed in Delhi and Rajasthan for more than two months looking for leads in the case before arresting Soju from his hideout at one of the dargahs. ATM transactions made by Soju led the police to his hideout, City Police Commissioner T.J. Jose said at a press meet here on Wednesday.

Feud led to murder

Soju, 35, was absconding after the murder of Saji, an associate of Choozhattukotta Ambili, another goon in the district and rival of Soju, at Nedumkad, near Karamana, here in September. Saji was hacked to death by Soju’s gang following a gangland feud.

Soju was arrested in February this year under the Kerala Anti-Social Activities (Prevention) Act. The attack on Saji was carried out after his release. Soju is the prime accused in the murder of two other alleged gangsters Jet Santhosh and Parassala Binu. As many 23 cases, including those related to chain-snatching and kidnapping, are registered against him in various police stations in the district.

Mr. Jose said the police team would be rewarded. As many as 27 habitual offenders had been arrested over the past year. Of them, 20 were in jail. The rest of them were on trial, he said.