KERALA

Wanted gang leader held

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, APRIL 24 . The city police have arrested `Gundukadu' Shabu (34), an alleged gang leader wanted in several cases of robbery, bomb-throwing and attempted murder in the city and district.

Shabu was arrested by a team led by the Peroorkada Circle Inspector, on Friday evening.

The arrest was in connection with an armed gang attack on a house at Peroorkada in which two persons were injured, one of them seriously.

The police said the owner of a CD hire shop at Ambalamukku had hired the services of Shabu and his gang to get the occupant of the shop to vacate it. The occupant, Ramesh, of Panavila Veedu on the NCC Road in Peroorkada, however, refused to vacate the premises and Shabu and his gang decided to kill him.

Accordingly, an armed gang sent by Shabu barged into Ramesh's house during midnight on April 21. Ramesh managed to escape through the rear door of the house. The gang members, who were enraged that Ramesh had given them the slip, set upon his father, Krishnan, hacking him several times, the police said.

A neighbour, Radhakrishnan, who came to Krishnan's aid on hearing his cries, was also hacked by the gang members. Krishnan was admitted to the Medical College Hospital with severe injuries and his condition remains serious even now.

Shabu had been serving a jail term in connection with another recent case of extortion and had been set free only a few days ago. He and his gang members had smashed up a shop at Murinjapalam in the city on October 20 last year and attacked the shop owner after he refused to pay the "goonda fee" demanded by the gang. A manhunt had been launched for Shabu following this and he had surrendered before the court in January last.

A resident of Barton Hill colony, Shabu had been living a luxurious life using the money obtained through his criminal activities, the police said. During a raid on his premises in the colony some time ago, the police had found lakhs of rupees worth of costly equipment such as air-conditioner, computer, etc.

One month ago, the Poonthura police had seized a Qualis automobile registered in his name.

Shabu was produced in court today and remanded to custody.

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