A notorious gangster, charged with over 20 crimes, including murder, kidnapping and assault, was hacked to death by a seven-member gang on Tiruvottiyur High (TH) Road in New Washermenpet on Tuesday.

The police said previous enmity was the motive behind the murder.

Around 3.15 p.m., the victim, ‘Thadi’ (beard) M. Suresh, 32, who worked at a welding shop, was on his motorcycle, with a friend, A. Srinivasan (28) on TH Road. A gang accosted the duo and hacked Suresh to death with sickles. Srinivasan escaped with minor injuries.

The gang, which rode in on three motorcycles, fled while Suresh lay dying. Motorists and passers-by alerted the police, who rushed him to Government Stanley Hospital where doctors said he was ‘brought dead’.

A case of murder under section 302 of IPC has been filed by New Washermenpet police, who said two of the gang’s motorcycles, which had been left at the scene of the crime, had been seized.

A special team has been formed to investigate the murder.

Local residents panicked, as the murder was committed on an arterial road in broad daylight, police said.

“I was shocked when a group of men in bikes stopped two other men and hacked them with sickles. I ran away immediately,” said S. Rajesh, a motorist.

Police said that the victim, Suresh, has been notorious for kidnap, extortion and assault in the northern neighbourhood of the city for more than a decade. Suresh has at least two murder cases against him in Seven Wells and Flower Bazaar police stations. On April 16, as part of preventive measures, a case under preventive detention was filed against Suresh by New Washermenpet police. However, he was released on bail after a week. “In fact, we were searching for him to arrest him again as preventive measure but he was absconding,” said a police officer.

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