A 39-year-old man was hacked to death by a six-member gang near the Indian Oil Company (IOC) bus terminus on Ennore High Road in Tondiarpet, on Monday evening.
Police said that it was around 7.30 p.m., when S. Raja (also known as “Oil Raja”), the victim, stopped his two-wheeler to attend a call on his mobile phone near a curve on Ennore High Road, around 100 metres from the IOC bus terminus. A six-member gang, who was following him on the road, attacked and hacked him to death with knives and sickles.
The gang then fled the scene on three motorcycles. Raja, who had sustained serious injuries on his head, hands and stomach, attempted to raise an alarm, but as the stretch generally remains deserted after sunset, it was nearly an hour later that motorists and passers-by noticed him.
They took Raja to Apollo Hospital in Tondiarpet, at around 8.30 p.m. However, doctors there said Raja was brought dead, possibly because of massive blood loss. His body was taken to the Government Stanley Government Hospital for a post-mortem examination. Meanwhile, a few motorists alerted R.K. Nagar police and a police team subsequently inspected the crime scene. A case of murder has been filed. “The spot on that stretch has no illumination and the gang used it to their advantage,” said a senior police officer.
A notorious oil pilferer, Raja was a resident of Nedunchezhian Nagar in Tondiarpet. For nearly two decades, police said, Raja had been known for oil theft from oil companies along Ennore High Road and adjoining oil-major areas in north Chennai.
“He had been involved in oil pilferage for a long time and there was some rivalry between him and other local groups also involved in pilferage. We are investigating all angles including business rivalry and personal enmity,” said another police officer.