Sujay Kumar Rai from Bihar was into real estate business

A day after the bloody encounter, the focus shifted to the identity of the suspected bank robbers who were shot dead in Velachery. The prime suspect in the bank robbery case was identified by his family members late on Friday night.

According to police sources, the man whose image was released by the Chennai Police after the second bank robbery was identified as Sujay Kumar Rai alias Vinod Kumar of Patna district. The father, sister and other family members of Sujay arrived in Chennai late on Friday and met police officials at the Commissioner's office. They claimed that Sujay lost his fingers in a blast several years ago but maintained that he was not involved in any bank robbery case before. However, the entire family was involved in a case pertaining to the death of Sujay's brother and sister-in-law in a village near Patna in Bihar.

Sujay was into real estate business, they said and pleaded ignorance about four others who were shot dead along with him in an encounter with the police during the small hours on Thursday.

Police sources said they suspected that the voter identity cards found in the hideout of the suspects were fake. Investigators are now pinning their hopes on the call details record that will have to be retrieved from dozens of SIM cards allegedly found on the premises of the suspects.

“While all the five had a mobile phone each, there were many SIM cards. We have formed a special team of the Cyber Crime Cell to examine the calls made/received by the suspects. This will probably provide leads to establish their identity, and indicate if they were part of any network,” a senior police official told The Hindu on Friday.

Police sent fingerprints of the suspects to the National and State Crime Records Bureaus to check whether they were involved in any other offence in the past, police sources added.

Meanwhile, eyewitnesses to the robberies were shown the five bodies kept at the mortuary of the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital here. According to hospital sources, 17 persons, including staff members from the Bank of Baroda branch in Perungudi and Indian Overseas Bank branch in Keelkattalai, ascertained that the bodies were those of the men who carried out the robbery at their respective branches. After a long session, the officials left the premises around 8 p.m. Earlier in the morning, XIV Metropolitan Magistrate Geeta Rani examined the bodies separately.