R. Rajaram

TIRUCHI: An accused in several cases – Balaji alias ‘Bomb’ Balaji – was killed in an encounter with the police near here in the early hours on Monday.

Balaji, (35) and hailing from Karanthai in Thanjavur, was an accused in five murder cases, including one in the Sathuvachery police station limit in Vellore district and two cases in Thanjavur district. He had been absconding for over a year.

This is the second encounter death this month in the Central Zone. Mithun Chakravarrthy, a murder case accused, was killed in a police encounter in Thanjavur district.

A police team led by Tiruverumbur Inspector S. Kabilan was conducting ‘bad character’ checks near Panayakurichi on the Tiruchi-Kallanai road at around 4 a.m. when they spotted a person riding a motorcycle without a registration number from the Kallanai side. When the motorcyclist did not stop even after the police team ordered him to do so, a police party chased him. The motorcycle rider skidded after some distance and fell off the vehicle. He ran towards a graveyard and allegedly threatened the police party that he would finish them all, shouting that he was ‘Bomb’ Balaji. The police said Balaji lobbed a country bombat the police team, which, however, did not explode.

Even as the Inspector ordered Balaji to surrender, the latter pulled out a pistol and allegedly opened two rounds of fire, in which Sub Inspector K. Udayakumar received a bullet injury in his left arm.

The Inspector opened one round of fire from his service pistol. The bullet hit Balaji’s chest in the left side and he fell down. The injured Sub Inspector and Balaji were taken to the Government Hospital in Tiruchi.

Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Tiruchi Range Ashok Kumar Das, said Balaji was brought alive to the hospital where he died within minutes.

The DIG said murder cases had been registered against Balaji in police stations at Thanjavur East, Thanjavur West, Pasupathipalayam in Karur district, Sathuvachery in Vellore and in Dindigul. He claimed that Balaji had planned to murder three persons in Madurai.

The Revenue Divisional Officer, Tiruchi T. Mallika visited the spot where the encounter took place and conducted enquiries.