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Updated: March 6, 2014 03:01 IST
POLICE PATROL

Shootout in Chennai after 13 long years

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Former gangster was shot dead near Tiruvanmiyur market in full public view last Thursday, by members of a rival gang

Members of rival gangs chase each other and there is a shootout in busy Tiruvanmiyur market. But for the setting, it could have been a scene straight out of ‘Godfather’. Welcome to the Gangs of Chennai.

Former gangster and political functionary Kandhan alias Mangaleri Kandhan was shot dead near Tiruvanmiyur market in full public view on Thursday last, by members of a rival gang. The last time such an incident took place in Chennai was 13 years ago.

Reminiscing back to February 2001, police sources say the previous victim of gang-war gun-killing in the city was Katta Durai Thevar of Tirunelveli. He was shot point-blank inside a telephone booth in Egmore by his arch rival Karate Selvin, and hacked. There were shooting incidents in the city before that, but none of them were gang related, sources say.

In the latest incident, however, for two days, the police maintained Kandhan had been hacked with knives and there had been no shooting. However, the forensic report proved beyond doubt he had indeed been shot — a bullet was the cause of death.

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A fragment of cloth, a snuffed-out cigarette, a tiny speck of dry blood, or even invisible finger prints. These might seem insignificant to us, but at a crime scene, these objects are of immense value to forensic experts.

These experts, who operate on the basic premise that ‘there is no perfect crime,’ are the unseen forces behind satisfactory conclusion of investigation into whodunits.

The recent murder of a TCS employee, whose body was found nine days after she died, is among the many cases that pose a serious challenge to policemen and forensic experts, who always assist the lead investigators. The experts’ job begins at the scene of crime, scouting for clues, and continues through detailed tests and investigations in their laboratories, and ends only when the case is closed in court.

The patient work done by experts in collecting clues and their careful analysis in laboratories can clearly establish the exact time of the occurrence of crime, the number of suspects involved in the event of an assault, the cause of death and also distinguish a murder from a suicide.

The most important aspect in the end is the police investigation and results of tests by forensic experts should corroborate with each other. If there is contradiction, it will be a pointer to shoddy investigation.

(Reporting by Petlee Peter and K. Manikandan)

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