Before the policemen could open fire, the attackers threw some chilly powder at them and hacked Deva

A 15-member gang stormed an MTC bus and hacked a prisoner to death at Red Hills bus terminus on Friday.

The prisoner, escorted by two policemen, was being taken back to Tiruchi jail after a court hearing in Ponneri. Seven of the assailants were rounded up by the city police at Maduravoyal later in the evening.

According to the police, remand prisoner Deva alias Devarajan (24) of Ekambaranar Koil Street in Periyakancheepuram, was involved in various cases including murder and theft and was lodged in Tiruchi Central prison.

On Friday morning, constables Rangarajan and Subramanian escorted Deva to the Ponneri court for the hearing of an idol theft case registered in Tiruvallur in 2011 in which Deva was a key suspect.

After attending the court session in the afternoon, the armed policemen handcuffed Deva and brought him by bus to the Red Hills terminus. They boarded MTC bus route number 114 (Red Hills to Vandalur) to go to CMBT, Koyambedu. From there, they were to board another bus to Tiruchi.

“They were seated in the last row of the AC Volvo bus when a gang boarded the vehicle. Deva identified a few of the assailants and alerted the constables. Before the policemen could open fire, the men threw some chilly powder at them and hacked Deva with knives and sickles,” said an investigating officer.

The bus passengers and others in the terminus ran away following the attack and the gang fled immediately in their cars. The city police was able to trace seven members of the gang, within an hour, to Maduravoyal. A hunt is on for the others, an officer said.

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