Today's Paper

Gangster killed in encounter, 2 SIs hurt

CHENNAI SEPT. 26. In an early morning operation at Nungambakkam here today, the Central Crime Branch police shot dead `Pannayar' Venkatesan, allegedly involved in several cases of murder and extortion. Two sub-inspectors were hurt in the crossfire.

Venkatesan, whose area of operation was Tuticorin district, was allegedly involved in eight murder cases. Besides, five cases, under the Explosive Substances Act, were booked against him, the police said.

Briefing reporters here, the Police Commissioner, K.Vijay Kumar, narrated the sequence of events that led to the encounter. A CCB team, on trail of Venkatesan, wanted in a case of extortion at Kilpauk, received specific information about his presence (with two accomplices) in an apartment on Tank Bund Road, Nungambakkam. At around 4.30 a.m., the team, led by S.Krishnamurthy, Deputy Commissioner of Police, surrounded the flat and asked Venkatesan to surrender.

When he refused to come out, the team forced its way into the flat.

Venkatesan used a 9 mm auto pistol to fire three rounds at the policemen, injuring Arul Mani, a sub-inspector, in the neck. Mohan Raj, another SI, suffered a cut in the hand, when a gangster attacked him with a knife.

In retaliation, the policemen fired seven rounds. Venkatesan collapsed and was taken to the Kilpauk Medical College Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The body was handed over to Venkatesan's relatives, who took it to Tuticorin.

Ganesan and Johnson were taken into custody, while a third member of the gang, Murali, was arrested in the evening. Mr. Vijay Kumar said Venkatesan and a few others barged into the premises of `Leaders Capital Services' at Kilpauk on September 13 and took away blank cheques.

The managing director of the firm filed a complaint with the Kilpauk police station on September 22 and two days later, the case was transferred to the CCB. Gopi and Murugan, who were among those who barged into the firm, were arrested on September 23.

Venkatesan headed a gang of 25 members and was accused in several cases of extortion and mediation, most of which went unreported. "The victims in all these cases were too petrified to complain," Mr.Vijay Kumar said.

Tension in native village

P. Sudhakar reports from Tirunelveli:

The police have made elaborate security arrangements in Venkatesan's home town, Moolakkaraipatti, and surrounding places.

As Venkatesan was heading a caste outfit (Nadar Paathukaapu Peravai), the police anticipate violence during his funeral. Shops at Moolakkaraipatti, Arumuganeri, Athoor, Pazhayakaayal and Kurumbur downed their shutters.

Recommended for you