The mystery over the body found in a gunny bag on the Perambur – Madhavaram High Road near Moolakadai on Satuday has been solved. Police said the victim was G. Rajesh, a resident of Retteri and a gangster involved in extortion and kidnapping.

Three men who surrendered before a court in Saidapet in connection with the case were sent to judicial custody. One of the three was a long-time associate of the victim and a gangster too.

Rajesh, a 35-year-old gangster-turned real estate dealer, had set out to inspect a few plots in Red Hills on June 1 and did not return home. On Monday, having read reports of an unidentified body found in a bag, his wife R. Sangeetha approached the police team led by R.Vijayaraghavan. She identified the body at the morgue at Kilpauk Medical College Hospital by the clothes he was wearing and from his appearance, although his face was disfigured.

Even as the police were investigating the murder, three men — Sebastin alias Saba, Selvakumar and Srinivasan — surrendered before a court at Saidapet on Monday evening. “We suspect Sebastin may be the prime accused because he is the last person Rajesh met. The two also drank at a bar in Red Hills. Issues over real estate may have led to the murder,” said an investigating officer. Six police officers in two teams led by police inspectors, S. Ramanathan, and V. Revathi, are investigating the case. A case of murder under section 302 of IPC has been filed by the Thiru Vi Kaa Nagar police.

Rajesh was involved in more than a dozen criminal cases including extortion, assault and kidnapping. He became a real estate dealer nearly a year ago in an attempt to capitalise on his extensive knowledge of areas in the northern and western parts of the city. A while ago, under pressure from the police who were keen he quit criminal activity, he shifted his house to Retteri. Sebastin was a close associate of Rajesh and also has more than a dozen criminal cases against him in north Chennai. In fact, both Rajesh and Sebastin have been lodged at Puzhal prison under Goondas Act on a couple of occasions.

Rajesh’s body was discovered with his hands and legs bound with a cord. The police were tipped off by a pedestrian who saw the blood-stained gunny bag. The body had multiple stab injuries.

In March this year, police recovered a decomposed body from a traveller’s bag near Madhavaram. Later, the victime was identified as 65-year-old Hameeda Beevi of Washermenpet. She was murdered by a tenant looking to steal her valuables

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