On Wednesday, 20 policemen who were part of last week’s anti-extremist operations in Chennai and Puttur (Andhra Pradesh) were rewarded by the Chief Minister at the Secretariat.
One policeman, however, who is believed to have played a pivotal part in nabbing the most-wanted suspect, ‘Police’ Fakruddin, stood unnoticed among the posse of security personnel deployed for the occasion.
Inspector T. Veerakumar of Periamet police station had rushed to the aid of special unit CID inspectors, Lakshmanan (now hospitalised) and Ravindran when they were beaten black and blue by Fakruddin on Friday evening, near Choolai roundabout. He overpowered the extremist and later led the special teams to the Puttur hideout of Fakruddin’s accomplices.
When The Hindu tried to speak with Mr. Veerakumar, who was part of the CM convoy’s security in R.A. Puram on Wednesday, he simply said, “It is a departmental decision. I just did my job.”
Those who witnessed the fight at Choolai roundabout on Friday recalled two men being beaten up by a third (later identified as Fakruddin). Soon, a crowd had gathered to watch the fistfight.
“At first, it seemed like a case of personal rivalry. The two men were badly beaten up by a well-built guy. Suddenly, a policeman came on a motorcycle and he beat up the big guy and took him away after tying up his hands and blindfolding him,” said Selvam, who works in a timber shed at Choolai roundabout.
According to the city police, inspectors Lakshmanan and Ravindran, batchmates of Veerakumar, had followed Fakruddin who was travelling in an MTC bus, and tried to overpower him. Radhika, a police constable on duty, spotted the melee and informed Veerakumar. He reached the spot within minutes and apprehended Fakruddin.
Commissioner of police, S. George, met Veerakumar and constable Radhika on Tuesday and commended their timely actions. He had also recommended them for rewards, an officer said.