Coimbatore murder | Two of 5 arrested accused shot at by Coimbatore police while ‘escaping’

Updated - February 16, 2023 03:49 pm IST

Published - February 14, 2023 11:55 pm IST - UDHAGAMANDALAM / COIMBATORE

One of the murder accused who was shot at, by the Coimbatore district police on February 14, 2023

One of the murder accused who was shot at, by the Coimbatore district police on February 14, 2023 | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The Coimbatore police on Tuesday shot at and injured two of the five persons arrested by their Nilgiris counterparts earlier in the day in connection with Monday’s daring daylight murder of a youth near the Combined Court Complex in the industrial city.

The police said the two had tried to escape while being escorted to the city.

Coimbatore City Police Commissioner V. Balakrishnan said that following information about the suspects, special teams made futile searches at Coonoor and Udhagamandalam. However, acting on another lead that the accused persons were heading to Kotagiri, the special teams alerted the Nilgiris police.

The Nilgiris police conducted vehicle checks, nabbed five suspects and handed them over to the special teams.

According to Mr. Balakrishnan, while crossing Forest College on the Mettuppalayam-Kotagiri Road, two of the accused persons — Hari alias Gowtham, 24, of Ganapathy, and J. Josua Dev Periyan, 23, of Gandhipuram, pretended to vomit.

“Special teams stopped the vehicle and the duo started running. They had hidden some weapons in the place and one of them pulled out a sharp-edged weapon and assaulted special sub-inspector Yusuf, injuring him on the hand. To protect the team and prevent the accused persons from escaping, the police opened fire, injuring both in the thighs,” he said.

The accused persons had allegedly murdered Gokul, 22, because of gang rivalry. His associate Manoj sustained injuries. The two had come to the Coimbatore court on Monday in connection with Gokul’s involvement in a murder case in 2021 when they were attacked.

The other arrested accused are C. Barani Sounther, 20, of Gandhi Maanagar; S. Gowtham, 25, of Lakshmipuram; and V. Arun Kumar, of Rathinapuri. The five men were arrested along the Kattabettu-Kotagiri Market Road.

Earlier in the day, Mr. Balakrishnan told reporters that six gangs of rowdy elements had been active in Coimbatore and the police had prepared a list of 153 rowdy elements. Following the murder, the police tightened its grip on the rowdy elements.

Ten persons were arrested in the Rathinapuri police limits on Monday night alone. The hunt continues for the others. Following the ATM burglaries in Tiruvannamalai on Sunday last, patrolling has been intensified around ATMs. The city police limits account for 444 ATMs, and patrolling has been ensured at all the ATMs, he said.

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