Mechanic in Thoothukudi murders policeman for confiscating vehicle

The 55-year-old sub-inspector of Eral police station was knocked off his vehicle when the mechanic slammed into him early on Monday morning

A mechanic fatally knocked down a police sub-inspector and injured a constable near Eral, early on Monday. The police officer had reportedly seized his cargo autorickshaw after he created a ruckus in the bazaar some hours earlier.

This is the second incident in the last five months in Thoothukudi district in which a policeman has been murdered in a ghastly manner. In the first incident, constable Subramanian, 28, of Alwarthirunagari police station was murdered by rowdy Duraimuthu with a country bomb near Murappanaadu on August 18. Subramanian had tried to nab the history-sheeter fleeing with improvised explosives.

Police said Eral police station sub-inspector V. Balu, 55, who was on regular patrol at the Eral Bazaar on Sunday evening, saw R. Murugavel, 40, a two-wheeler mechanic from nearby Vaazhavallaan, creating a ruckus with a cargo autorickshaw, under the influence of alcohol. The police officer asked him to go home, but he refused and reportedly verbally abused the policemen there.

Superintendent of Police S. Jayakumar, who visited the spot around 3 a.m., said Murugavelv was taken to the police station and the cargo vehicle seized. The police, who allowed him to go home, obtained an undertaking from him that he would come to the police station on Monday to receive the confiscated vehicle.

When sub-inspector Balu and another policeman, Pon Subbiah, who were returning from Umarikaadu on night patrol, saw Murugavel standing near the Korkkai intersection around 12.45 a.m. with another cargo autorickshaw belonging to his landlord, they asked him to go home. Even as Balu and Pon Subbiah were leaving the spot, Murugavel hit the policemen’s bike with the cargo autorickshaw violently. The two fell on the ground.

“Balu, the pillion rider, was unconscious and succumbed to his injuries on the way to the hospital while Pon Subbiah is undergoing treatment with injuries,” Mr. Jayakumar said.

The body of Balu, who joined Tamil Nadu Police in 1988 as Grade II constable, was taken to Thoothukudi Medical College Hospital for a post-mortem.

During investigation, police found that Murugavel’s wife had attempted to die by suicide, unable to bear the torture by her husband after he consumed alcohol everyday. “She was discharged from the hospital on Sunday night. After taking her from the hospital to his house in the cargo autorickshaw of his landlord, Murugavel murdered Balu with the vehicle,” said Mr. Jayakumar adding that the accused is not facing any other criminal case.

Murugavel who was absconding at first, later surrendered before a court in Vilaathikulam.

(Counselling for those in distress is available on the State’s health helpline 104 and Sneha’s suicide prevention helpline 04424640050)

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