Tamarai alias Thamaraiselvan (26), an accused in a case relating to the abduction of two businessmen of Coimbatore, died in the early hours of Tuesday when police were bringing him to Coimbatore from Mettur.
He had developed chest pain at Bhavani while travelling in a police vehicle, police said. The police, quoting doctors at the Government Hospital at Bhavani, said Tamarai died of heart attack.
A resident of Gandhi Nagar in Salem district, he was picked up by a special team of the Coimbatore City Police on the charges of abducting businessmen Subash and Ravindran. According to the police, he was involved in two murders and a burglary in Salem and two other crimes in Coimbatore and Dharmapuri.
The police had already arrested over 15 persons in this connection.
According to the case filed by the police, the gang posed as real estate agents and took the businessmen to Mettur in Salem district on April 7 to show lands/buildings for purchase.
The gang took the two to a hideout and demanded a ransom of Rs.5 lakh. But, Rs.2 lakh was reportedly given to the gang to secure the release of the businessmen.
Based on a complaint, the city police first arrested 10 persons on April 17 and recovered lethal weapons from them.
Subsequently, the team arrested four more persons and another two. On Monday, the teams arrested V. Srinivasan (35) and N. Sekar (38).
Thamaraiselvan was arrested late in the night and was taken to the hideout in Mettur to recover the ransom. The police recovered Rs.2,000 and a gold ring from him.
While returning to Coimbatore, he complained of chest pain. He was rushed to the hospital, where doctors pronounced him dead on arrival. His relatives, who arrived later at the hospital, said the death was suspicious and demanded an inquiry.
Bhavani police registered a case under Section 176 (1) (a) of the Criminal Procedure Code (Inquiry by magistrate into cause of death of a person while in custody).