Prime accused in the abduction, sexual assault and murder of siblings' namely Mohan alias Mohanraj alias Mohanakrishnan (27) was shot dead in an encounter on the Podanur - Vellalore road around 5.30 a.m. on Tuesday.

The former school van driver Mohanraj on October 29 kidnapped a ten-year-old girl and her seven-year-old brother Rithish both children of textile mechant Ranjith and Sangeetha of RG Street. The children were waiting for their school van, when the accused using his earlier acquaintance with the children took them away in a van that he had borrowed from his friend. The accused later joined his accomplice Manoharan (23) of Angalakurichi near Pollachi.

The duo had originally planned to seek ransom from the parents but subsequently changed their mind owing to the fear of being nabbed by the police and sexually assaulted the girl and physically tortured the boy before drowning both of them in the PAP canal.

The girl's body was recovered near Vavipalayam near Pongalur 77 km from Thirumurthy hills on Friday late night and the boy's body was recovered on Sunday noon. The police arrested both the accused and cases were registered against them for abduction, sexual assault and murder besides concealment of evidence.

On November 8, the police took custody of the accused for investigation. On November 9 morning, the police took both of them around 5.30 a.m. for making them identify the places where the accused had committed the offence of sexual assault, murder and drowning. They were escorted by Inspectors Kanagasabapathy and Annadurai besides sub-inspectors Muthumalai and Jothi. When the vehicle was crossing the Vellalore compost yard of the corporation on the Podanur - Vellalore road, the accused Mohanraj reportedly snatched the pistol of one of the Sub-Inspectors and placed it on the head of the Head Constable cum driver Annadurai and tried to stop the vehicle in a bid to escape.

When the driver failed to stop, he indiscriminately opened fire in which Sub-Inspector Jothi sustained an injury in his right arm, while the bullet pierced into the stomach of Sub-Inspector Muthumalai. Immediately, Inspector Annadurai is said to have opened fire in self-defence and two bullets hit the head of the accused while one went into the chest killing the accused on the spot.

The body of the accused was brought to Coimbatore Medical College Hospital for post-mortem while the injured sub-inspectors were admitted to the Kovai Medical Centre Hospital. City Police Commissioner C. Sylendra Babu said that the police had to open fire to prevent the accused from killing the police personnel and to foil his attempt to escape from custody. Mr. Sylendra Babu also called on the injured police officers at the private hospital.