Staff Reporter

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The city police have arrested three youths, identified as `Appachi' Baiju, 27, `Velli' Mahesh, 26, and `Chembi' Ajayakumar, 23, who were wanted for numerous cases of chain-snatching and goonda activities.

Briefing mediapersons here on Thursday city police commissioner K. Padmakumar said the three were arrested on Wednesday night from Killippalam. Swords, iron rods and explosives were also seized from the vehicle they were travelling in.

`Appachi' Baiju is the accused in about 10 cases in the Medical College police station. Four warrants were pending against him. On questioning by the police the three admitted to their involvement in 26 cases of chain snatching reported from various parts of the city and suburbs over the past six months, he said.

Mahesh and Baiju used to park their jeep at a designated point and then proceed on motorcycles to snatch chains. They used to identify women walking alone, snatch the chain and abandon the bike. It was Ajayakumar who procured the motorcycles for the duo. One or two accomplices would hide near the scene of the crime armed with explosives to scare off anybody who may challenge the duo, the Commissioner said.

The police have seized five motorcycles used by the duo for snatching chains. Baiju and Mahesh have also admitted their involvement in the incident in which Hari was attacked at Kamaleswaram on the night of December 18. Hari later succumbed to his injuries. `Operation December' launched by the city police to tackle anti-social activities will continue in the coming months. The operation has been successful in reducing crime in the city.