Notorious gangster ‘Kakkathoppu’ Balaji (34), who features in the ‘most wanted’ list of the Central Crime Branch (CCB), was nabbed by the police on Wednesday.
There were rumours the CCB’s anti-gangster operations squad wanted him dead but Balaji, accused in 15 attempt-to-murder cases and four murders, was rounded up in a special operation on Wednesday and remanded to custody. He was later sent to Puzhal prison.
Balaji was last arrested in March this year, from Villupuram, for his involvement in some cases of extortion and murders. He was later released on bail.
The latest arrest follows complaints of his involvement in gang wars in the city and suburbs, the police said.
“We enumerated the rowdy elements operating in the city based on notoriety and Balaji stood first in the A+ category. We launched a thorough hunt and apprehended him. He is a hardcore criminal and remains active,” said S. Jayakumar, additional deputy commissioner of the anti-gangster operations squad.
Initially, a resident of BRN Garden, known as Kakkathoppu, in Broadway, Balaji rose from being a petty criminal to a notorious rowdy, active in north Chennai, in the late 90s. He is involved in as many as 42 criminal cases and has been jailed on eight occasions under the Goondas Act.
He is suspected to be involved in kidnapping for ransom and murders in Andhra Pradesh and has also served jail terms there, the police said.
Three more arrested
The anti-gangster operations squad, on Tuesday, arrested three small-time gang members involved in various crimes including murders, attempt to murder and robberies.
The arrested were identified as Karthik alias Nettai Karthik (23) of Vyasarpadi, involved in 12 criminal cases including robbery, Kavi alias Kaviarasu (28) of MGR Nagar, involved in 20 cases including two murders, and Mani alias Tamilmani (39) of Chromepet, involved in five cases including three murders.