The police, while searching for a gangster, arrested three members of a gang that was planning to murder a rival in a Corporation park in Parvathy Nagar at Kodungaiyur, on Wednesday.

Police sources said, a special patrol team had received an alert that a notorious gangster, ‘Muttai’ Gopi, who was involved in around a dozen cases in the northern neighbourhood of the city over a period of more than ten years, was in his hideout in Villivakkam. They also received intelligence of a possible visit by Gopi to Kodungaiyur where his family resides, on Wednesday.

The four-member patrol team, led by the inspector of Kodungaiyur police, had then looked for Gopi, who was suspected of being involved in an assault case. The team checked various public places including playgrounds, Tasmac outlets, markets, parks and residential colonies, especially housing board quarters.

“Gopi was released on bail recently. We were checking places that he usually visited,” said a police officer of the north zone.

During the search, the team came across six men in a public park in Parvathy Nagar. Three members of the gang, Murali, ‘Kolathur’ Vicky and Prabhakaran, all of them aged 28, escaped, while the other members — Satish Kumar (23), ‘Kolikal’ Vicky (22) and Muthu (21) — were arrested.

When the police checked them, they found sickles, knives and iron rods in their possession. The gang, led by Prabhakaran, was planning to murder Santhosh (25), another gangster, over a petty issue involving Prabhakaran parking his fish cart in front of Santhosh’s real estate office in MMDA Colony in Mathur, Madhavaram.

The patrol team received an alert from the police control room around 1 a.m. on Wednesday that a gang, led by Gopi, had hacked a man to death in a leather industrial unit in Madhavaram, the officer said.

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