A political killing, gang war and murders for gain are among the incidents in June

Last month was one of the city’s bloodiest in recent times, with a staggering 16 murders rocking the peace of the city. These include three murders for gain with women victims, the brutal hacking of a Hindu Munnani functionary in Ambattur and the hacking of a notorious gangster inside a government hospital in the heart of the city. Most of the others, police said, were committed due to personal vendetta.

According to a senior police officer, close to 300 anti-social elements, who had been locked up in various prisons after being booked under the Goondas Act by the city police, were recently released. “This development has raised serious concerns about law and order in the city. Keeping track of their activities has become a real challenge. The smallest of sparks can ignite a turf war between gangs,” he said.

Recent statistics have shown that the epicentre of gang activity has gradually shifted from areas in north Chennai — mainly parts of Pulianthope, Tondiarpet and Washermanpet — to other parts of the city and suburbs due to severe police crackdown. The murder of Bokkai Ravi in Royapettah has raised the spectre of a gang war yet again and immediate steps must be taken to nip it in the bud, police sources said.

The murder of Hindu Munnani’s Tiruvallur leader S. Suresh Kumar (48) in Ambattur caused an uproar in the State but investigators are yet to make a breakthrough.

June also saw the murders for gain of three women in Royapettah, Selaiyur and Egmore. While the killing of Mehrunnisa (55), a retired RBI employee, at her house in Royapettah, was cracked within a week and her nephew arrested, the Selaiyur murder of Gajalakshmi (54) is yet to be solved. Mallika Ravi, (63), of Nolambur, a medical professional, was murdered by a driver along with two accomplices enroute to Villupuram. A day later, Emma Gonsalvez (82) was murdered in Egmore.

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