Stone quarry accident: Prime accused, son held in Karnataka

They will be brought to Tirunelveli on Saturday

Updated - May 21, 2022 04:26 am IST

Published - May 20, 2022 07:26 pm IST - TIRUNELVELI

Tirunelveli District Collector V Vishnu and Superintendent of Police P. Saravanan discussing with rescuers at stone quarry mishap site.

Tirunelveli District Collector V Vishnu and Superintendent of Police P. Saravanan discussing with rescuers at stone quarry mishap site. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The six-day-long hunt for the prime accused in the Adaimithippaankulam stone quarry accident that has claimed three lives so far ended on Friday, with a police team arresting ‘Chamber’ Selvaraj, 84, owner of Venkateshwara Stone Crusher, and his son Kumar, 52, at a lodge in Mangaluru, Karnataka.

The father and the son, hailing from Thisaiyanvilai in Tirunelveli district, had switched off their mobile phones to avoid being tracked. However, the police traced them by tracking the mobile phone numbers of their close relatives, associates and friends. Mr. Selvaraj is a Congress functionary.

The police said the two accused would be brought to Tirunelveli on Saturday.

Mr. Selvaraj, popularly known as ‘Chamber’ Selvaraj in the district, is a doyen in making chamber bricks and owns brick kilns in Ponnaakudi near Palayamkottai and Parappaadi near Nanguneri. A similar unit at Vallanaadu in Thoothukudi district is defunct.

Police sources said searches conducted at the office of Venkateshwara Stone Crusher by Investigation Officer and Nanguneri ASP Rajath Chaturvedi yielded many documents proving excessive mining of stones in the quarry where an accident trapped six workers and their heavy vehicles in a 300-foot pit last Saturday. Moreover, pieces of evidence for transaction of a whopping sum of money for selling stones, blue metal and M-sand have been recovered during the searches that lasted over five hours.

“The documentary evidence the investigators could secure during the raid will nail the accused for illegal quarrying,” said a source.

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