The 48-year-old officer was clubbed by a drunken man while on duty on Jan. 17

At 2.30 p.m. on January 17, special sub-inspector N. Kathiresan, was on patrol duty on Arcot Road in Valasaravakkam. An inebriated man wielding a club was creating a ruckus in a tea stall. Officer Kathiresan, 48, walked up there, chased the man away and restored calm. That was the last call of duty he attended.

Around 4.30 a.m. on Monday, Kathiresan died at a private hospital in Manapakkam, after undergoing two complicated surgeries, and remaining unconscious for more than 10 days. “On that day, after he chased the drunken man away, he was making entries into his official register, while standing near his patrol vehicle. The drunken man returned, picked up the club he had been forced to drop, and repeatedly hit Kathiresan on the head with it,” said a police officer of the Valasaravakkam police station, where Kathiresan had been attached.

Kathiresan collapsed, while the attacker, identified as daily wage labourer Veeramuthu (29) of Manali, attempted to flee. Shopkeepers and passers-by gave chase and caught Veeramuthu. He was beaten up by the group and was handed over to the police, who had him admitted to the prisoners’ ward at the Government Royapettah Hospital for treatment.

Veeramuthu was employed at a timber shop in Valasaravakkam, and had been arrested before for his involvement in brawl, police said.

Kathiresan, who had lost consciousness after the brutal attack, was taken to a private hospital nearby. “That same evening he was shifted to the MIOT hospital in Manapakkam where he was operated on for the head injuries he had suffered. A few days later, doctors performed a surgery on his neck but in vain. They were not able to revive him,” Sekar, a relative of the officer said.

After over 10 days of treatment, Kathiresan died in his hospital bed on Monday morning.