Coimbatore college mock drill death: Impostor held over 1,400 drills

Police question five of his associates; seal his Chennai residence

Updated - July 15, 2018 07:52 am IST

Published - July 15, 2018 07:44 am IST - COIMBATORE

Facing the law: Arumugam being escorted to a court by the police on Saturday.

Facing the law: Arumugam being escorted to a court by the police on Saturday.

G. Arumugam, 31, who was arrested on Friday for causing the death of a college student during an unauthorised disaster preparedness drill, has told his interrogators that he had conducted 1,467 such sessions at various private colleges across Tamil Nadu since 2011.

Arumugam, who claimed to be a trainer associated with the National Disaster Management Authority, was remanded in judicial custody in Coimbatore Central Prison till July 27. The police on Saturday also interrogated five persons, including a girl, who had assisted Arumugam in providing disaster management training at various colleges.

The police said they have not added any other charge against Arumugam, who was arrested under Section 304 (ii) of the IPC (culpable homicide not amounting to murder).

When he was detained on Thursday, Arumugam claimed that he was trainer with the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA). However, he was found to be an impostor as NDMA denied his claim on Friday.

“Various statements given by the accused need to be verified after taking him into custody. A confession statement has to be recorded thereafter. Other charges, if found necessary, will be added at a later stage,” said Pa. Moorthy, Superintendent of Police, Coimbatore District (Rural) Police.

Arumugam’s residence at Mambakam in Chennai, which was found locked, has been sealed by the police. It will be opened for evidence collection in the presence of Arumugam during his custodial interrogation. Several certificates, including a course completion certificate from NDMA, which Arumugam claimed to have, are believed to be in the house.

Meanwhile, Arumugam has told investigators that he has a bank account and a postal savings account. “The investigating team will verify if the accounts exist... We are hoping to collect details about his savings, sources of income and financial transactions if the accounts really exist,” said Mr. Moorthy.

Aide picked up

Of Arumugam’s five associates, three had assisted him during the disaster management drill held at Kovai Kalaimagal College of Arts and Science at Alandurai on Thursday. An aide by the name of Ashok was picked up by the police from Erode on Saturday for allegedly helping Arumugam prepare fake certificates.

Perur DSP A. Velmurugan said that those who assisted Arumugam in his training sessions were not aware of his impersonation. “He has created squads of assistants for training sessions in every district,” he said.

The police are yet to register a case against the five persons.

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