Sunday morning saw a car chase, the arrest of four men in connection with a murder and the discovery that the plot for the killing had been hatched in prison.
Police said that with these arrests, the murder of V.N. Palayam, a member of the Republican Party of India, who had been attacked on April 5, was solved.
On April 5, Palayam had been returning home on his motorcycle after dropping his daughter off at school.
Around 8.30 a.m., when he was in Annai Velankani Nagar, he was intercepted by six men on three motorcycles. The men attacked him with sickles, left him on the road, and sped away.
Palayam was first admitted to the Government Stanley Hospital and later shifted to the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital, where he died on Sunday.
A case had initially been registered under section 307 (attempt to murder), which was then changed to section 302 (murder.)
Four teams headed by S. Jayakumar, additional deputy commissioner (Pulianthope) were formed to crack the murder.
On Friday, five of those accused in the case, surrendered in different courts across the city.
“During our investigation, we found out that apart from the six men on motorcycles, three others too, had been involved in the murder. After five of them surrendered, we launched a hunt for the other four — Selvakumar (26) of Vyasarpadi, Vivekananadan (44) of Madhavaram, Tamilarasan (26) Royapuram and Baskaran (25) of Vyasarpadi,” said Jayakumar.
On Sunday, the police received a tip stating the four men had bee spotted in Madhavaram.
“As soon as we got there, we saw them on motorcycles. We went after them in our car, and after about a half-kilometre chase, we managed to nab them,” said Jayakumar.
When the men were interrogated, they told police that the murder had been had been committed mainly for business purposes.
“Apart from being involved in politics, Palayam was a sub-contractor at the goods shed in Vyasarpadi where goods that come by train are loaded and unloaded. It is a highly remunerative job. As his contract was about to expire, Nagendran a notorious history-sheeter, who is at present serving a life sentence at the Vellore prison, wanted to take it over,” said Jayakumar.
At this juncture, three persons — Selvakumar, Baskaran and Tamilarasan — were sent to Puzhal prison in connection with another murder case.
“Once there, they requested prison officers to shift them to the Vellore prison, saying their lives were in danger at Puzhal as a rival gang was also lodged there. Once in Vellore, they met up with Nagendran and hatched the plan,” said Govi Manoharan, assistant commissioner of police, MKB Nagar.
Nagendran told the men to get in touch with his friends — Karthik, Vivekanandan, Vikram, Vinod Kumar, Gandhi and Prakash. Once the three were out on bail, the nine of them got together and murdered Palayam, Manoharan said. With the surrender of five of the men on Friday and Sunday’s arrest of the other four, all the accused have now been held, Manoharan added.