Crackdown at metros forced a few of them to take assignments in

tier II cities, says

R. Ilangovan

Hired or paid killers have become the ‘in-thing’ in the district’s crime history.

It has been a long-established practice that many of these hired criminals who hail from districts, particularly from down south and from South Arcot, operate mostly in metros such as Chennai. They studiously avoid the districts for their nefarious activities.

But of late the trend seems to be changing fast. Sustained crackdown on them at metros by the law enforcers and gang rivalries have forced a few of them to take occasional assignments in tier II cities such as Salem and Coimbatore and in rural pockets too.

The most disturbing fact here is that even those who are living in the middle strata of society have started hiring these gangs of goons to settle their personal scores.

A senior police officer in the districts confides that though Salem district in West Zone, like a few other districts in South, is crime-prone, the involvement of the gangs of paid killers in murders have so far remained uncommon.

Murders are frequent here and the district also accounts for the maximum numbers in the state.

But a majority of them, however, are carried out because of previous enmity and executed on the spur of the moment.

The accused on most occasions will surrender, thus making job of the police easier.

Professional executions carried out by blood chilling gangs for money have never been reported till the police investigated the recent murder of a farmer near Sankagiri.

His killers were paid by a local person known to the deceased for a sum of Rs. 7,000.

The victim in this crime was found dead with a deep slit in his throat in his farm house.

The gruesome murder baffled the sleuths who cracked it when they arrested the man behind it.

In his affidavit, he accepted that he had masterminded the cut-throat crime with the assistance of the paid killers.

It was quite a shock for us when we found out the involvement of hired goons, says the officer.

The crime scene investigation had led the police to the gang leader.

The police are confident of arresting the rest in gang shortly.