Chennai police have issued a Lookout Circular (LOC) for Shaji Purushothaman, prime suspect in the May 23 Mercedes accident case, who is believed to be hiding in Thailand, which would enable immigration authorities to detain him on arrival at any international airport in the country.
Amid reports that Shaji will surrender before the police on June 10, investigators armed with an arrest warrant issued by a local court met immigration officials here on Saturday and briefed them on certain developments in the case. Of the four persons who travelled in the Mercedes, police arrested three, including Kumar alias ‘Kuthirai’ Kumar, and recorded their statements.
“We have sufficient evidence to prove that Shaji drove the car. In addition to statements of eyewitnesses, circumstantial and scientific evidence clearly indicates that he was behind the wheel. Action will be taken against those who helped him escape to a foreign country,” a senior police official, who did not want to be quoted, said.
Explaining the circumstances that led to the accident, the official said Shaji drove the car in high speed on the night of May 23. He lost control and hit a police patrol vehicle before crashing into the pavement. “The policemen in the patrol vehicle saw him driving in a rash and negligent manner. The airbags opened up following the impact of collision and Shaji was trapped inside…local people pulled him out along with Kumar who was sitting next to him.”
He said policemen in the patrol vehicle saw the Mercedes racing at them. After colliding with the police van, it took a turn towards the pavement and ran into the sleeping children. The incident occurred in front of a maternity hospital and some relatives of patients there rushed to the rescue of the injured.
“Local people were furious and tried to attack the driver. Police intervened and rescued Shaji and Kumar from the irate crowd. We will have an identification parade done soon after Shaji’s arrest…many eyewitnesses say they can identify him,” the official added.On Saturday, Commissioner of Police S. George held a meeting to review the case with the special team headed by Joint Commissioner R. Dhinakaran, police said.