32-year-old had passed on details of wanted gang leader’s whereabouts to police
For years, S. Saravanan, a 32-year-old autorickshaw driver, had alerted the police on the whereabouts of notorious gangsters in the northern neighbourhood of the city.
However, his attempts to raise an alert about a notorious gangster on the run, turned fatal on Wednesday when a four-member group led by the gangster hacked him to death at a leather industrial estate in Madhavaram in north Chennai.
Police sources said Saravanan (also known as Basha) was a resident of Ambedkar Street in Kodungaiyur and was a father of two children.
Saravanan had been a source/informer for the local police after he was acquitted in a bike-theft case in 2011.
Since then, according to police records, Saravanan had not been involved in any anti-social activities in the neighbourhood. As he earned a living as an autorickshaw driver and travelled extensively in the neighbourhood, Saravanan had access to vital information on various anti-social elements.
“To prove himself as a confidant to the police, he started to provide information to us,” said a police officer.
Saravanan had returned home around 9.30 p.m. on Tuesday, when the gang led by the gangster, ‘Muttai’ Gopi (30), came on two bikes and forced him to go with them.
“I told them not to take my husband as he had just come home after the day’s work. But, they insisted that my husband go with them. As all of them were childhood friends and worked as autodrivers, I allowed him to go,” said Saravanan’s wife, S. Savithri (28).
The police said the gang along with Saravanan had stopped at a Tasmac outlet and consumed alcohol. The four men then took Saravanan to the leather industrial estate in Madhavaram where they murdered him.
A few residents of the area spotted Saravanan and admitted him at the Government Stanley Hospital, where he died around 5.30 a.m. on Wednesday.
For more than a fortnight, the police had been on the lookout for Gopi as he was suspected of being involved in an assault case after his recent release from prison.
Currently, Gopi has more than a dozen cases involving extortion, attempt to murder, murder and kidnap registered against him at various police stations in north Chennai.
Saravanan and Gopi had been friends and worked together as autorickshaw drivers for many years. The police had tried to get the information on Gopi’s hideout from his acquaintances, including Saravanan.
When Gopi came to know that Saravanan had passed on the information to the police, he decided to kill him and sought help from their common friends, the police said.
A case of murder has been registered by the Kodungaiyur police.
The police identified the other suspects as S. Magesh (27), K. Ashok (28), all of them from Kodungaiyur, and A. Paneerselvam (25) of Madhavaram.
“One of the suspects has been secured and we are searching for the other three,” said a police officer.