Staff Reporter

Special teams formed to nab middle-aged man

Computer-aided portrait generated More than 300 people questioned

MADURAI: The man who made an attempt to assault Local Administration Minister M.K. Stalin got "too close to his target" before he was pulled away by Central Reserve Police Force security personnel.

According to highly placed intelligence sources, a State Minister and her Personal Security Officer saw the middle-aged man with a knife surging towards Mr. Stalin. When CRPF head constable Suresh Kumar Pandey tried to stop him, he wriggled out of his grip causing cut injuries.

"The suspect was near the Minister and was perhaps waiting for the right time to strike. He took advantage of the crowd and made good his escape. Those in the vicinity of the VIP mistook the intruder for a party functionary. A computer-aided portrait has been generated and we are closing in on the suspect," a senior police official told The Hindu on Wednesday.

In a closed-door meeting with Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam functionaries, the police showed several pictures taken at the railway station when Mr. Stalin arrived by Pandyan Express on Tuesday. "At least three pictures matched with the features of the suspect. Special teams led by four Assistant Commissioners of Police have been formed to trace the accused. We are taking this incident very seriously."

Inspector-General of Police (South Zone) Sanjeev Kumar, IGP (Railways) K. Rajendran, Commissioner of Police M. Chidambarasamy and top intelligence officials held discussions on the progress made in the case on Wednesday morning. Some of the security personnel deployed at the railway station when Mr. Stalin arrived were questioned. At least 300 persons whose images were recorded on video/camera were also questioned, police sources said.

The bloodstained knife that was seized by CRPF personnel was handed over to the Investigation Officer. Senior police officials were in Madurai to supervise the case, the sources added.