The police have arrested eight men in connection with the murder of notorious gangster Ravikumar alias ‘Bokkai’ Ravi (35), who was attacked at Government Royapettah Hospital on Monday evening. A gang rivalry was the motive, the police said.

Sources with the Royapettah police said a gang led by Appu alias Vignesh of Tondiarpet, who is a close associate of gangster Ravi alias ‘Kalvettu’ Ravi, had orchestrated the murder along with seven associates.

Last year, ‘Bokkai’ Ravi, of Vyasarpadi, had attacked and killed one of ‘Kalvettu’ Ravi’s aides, Venkata. In retaliation, ‘Kalvettu’ Ravi, Appu and other gang members murdered ‘Thadi’ Suresh of Tondiarpet, a key aide of ‘Bokkai’ Ravi.

Rivalry among the gangs had brewed and, a few months ago, Appu was attacked by members of ‘Bokkai’ Ravi’s gang. But the youngster survived the attack.

After ascertaining that ‘Bokkai’ Ravi had been released on bail from prison in May, Appu, Saravanan alias ‘Body’ Saravanan, also a rival of ‘Bokkai’ Ravi, and six of their aides tailed Ravi to the hospital where he was undergoing treatment for a broken leg, the officer added.

Around 8.15 p.m., the gang entered the orthopaedic ward and attacked ‘Bokkai’ Ravi and his associates, Santhakumar and Vicky alias Tamilchelvan. Ravi died soon after while the others escaped with injuries.

The sources said, Appu (23), Saravanan (40), Jithendran (24), Daniel Soloman (23) Sailesh Kumar (23), Dilip Kumar (24), Arun Kumar (24) and Sanjay (24) were arrested on Tuesday.

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