Chennai

Scams, heinous crimes and some good news

On radar: The residence of Health Minister Vijaya Baskar on Greenways Road.

On radar: The residence of Health Minister Vijaya Baskar on Greenways Road.  

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From the Ayanavaram gang rape to the gutkha case, It was a busy year for law enforcement agencies

Weighed down by exposes, scams and controversies in the law and order sector, not to mention heinous crimes across the State, 2018 staggers to a close. What bring a measure of relief are a few instances where justice, long overdue, was served and the wrongdoers were brought to book.

In Chennai, the year began on a good note as the police gatecrashed a birthday party organised by gangsters for their leader and nabbed over 75 history-sheeters as well as notorious goon Binu Papachan.

The conviction by the Chengalpet Mahila Court of Daswant on charges of kidnap, rape and murder of a seven-year-old girl was another piece of good news. The accused had also murdered his mother.

These apart, the year witnessed police commissioner A.K. Viswanathan pushing to bring the entire city under CCTV camera coverage.

In the middle of the year, the news about the serial rape of a young hearing impaired girl in Aynavaram came as a shock. The girl was raped for seven months and the police arrested 17 men.

The year also saw ministers and police officers being drawn into controversy after the CBI’s anti-corruption wing raided residences of Health Minister C. Vijaya Baskar, DGP T.K. Rajendran and former city commissioner of police S. George in connection with the gutkha scam. Subsequently, five persons, including Madhav Rao, the owner of the gutkha company, were taken into custody.

In November, the Madras High Court appointed A.G. Ponn Manickavel, Inspector General of Police, probing idol theft cases in Tamil Nadu, as a special officer for a period of one year to continue the probe. This order was given on the day of his retirement. Early in the year, the Mr. Manickavel had seized antiques and antiquities from a few eminent personalities in the city.

As the year drew to an end, the police stumbled upon a case in which one Sampath Raj had hidden cameras in the bathrooms and bedrooms of a women’s hostel he owned. His arrest set the government machinery working and steps are being taken to regularise private hostels.

Besides, police claimed to have busted an illegal immigration racket with the arrest of a Mumbai-based woman at the Chennai airport recently.

Districts not behind

The districts too saw their fair share of major crimes. In November, five teenagers, all school students, plotted and executed an honour killing in Veeravanallur police station limits in Tirunelveli.

In Sivaganga district, communal tension raised its ugly head after a lull in Katchanatham village. Three persons were hacked to death in the incident.

In Coimbatore, the death of a college student during a disaster management preparedness drill conducted by a fake NDMA trainer made headlines.

Madurai was at the epicentre of a controversy that shook the State. An audio clip of a phone conversation between an assistant professor Nirmala Devi and her girl students was leaked on social media in mid- April. It was about luring students into providing sexual favours to higher officials of the university. The temple town also saw the arrest of uniformed personnel in connection with a dacoity reported in a doctor’s house in Melur in December.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2020 1:28:41 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/scams-heinous-crimes-and-some-good-news-from-the-ayanavaram-gang-rape-to-the-gutkha-case-it-was-a-busy-year-for-law-enforcement-agencies/article25854832.ece

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