Police gun down criminal in encounter

Second ‘encounter death’ in a week in State

Police have hunted down a criminal who had been wanted booked in 20 criminal cases, including six murder cases, in an ‘encounter’ at Kovalam, a sleepy coastal hamlet on the outskirts of the town on Friday evening.

This is the second ‘encounter’ within a week as a thief from Jharkhand, who robbed chain from a woman at gunpoint, was hunted down at Kancheepuram on last Monday.

Police sources claimed that when a team tried to nab V. Durai Murugan, 39, of Thirumalaipuram near Koottaampuli near Pudukottai in the district on Friday around 3.30 p.m. in connection with the recent murder of a youth from Sivagamipuram near Paavoorchathram in Tenkasi district, he launched an attack on them, and consequently, the law-enforcers had to open fire in self defence, and in this the criminal had been shot dead.

After M. Jegadeesh, 23, of Sivagamipuram under Paavoorchathram police station limits was allegedly murdered by Durai Murugan and his associates recently, they buried the body at Tuckerammalpuram on Palayamkottai outskirts.

A person from Tuckermmalpuram Joel, under the influence of alcohol, reportedly told his friends that he and his associates had murdered and buried the body of Jegadeesh near his native place, he was picked-up by the police. During interrogation, Joel told the police about the role of Durai Murugan in the murder of Jegadeesh. The body was exhumed on last Monday.

When the police team, led by Sub-Inspector Raja Prabhu, was on the lookout for Durai Murugan, the police received information that he and his associates were hiding in a secluded place in the midst of thorny bushes near Kovalam under Muththaiahpuram police station limits.

As the police team, including Mr. Raja Prabhu and three constables, arrived at the spot around 3.30 p.m., according to the police version, Durai Murugan tried to attack on them with a machete even as two of his associates ran away. However, the police gunned him down.

Superintendent of Police S. Jayakumar, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Thoothukudi, Ganesh, Inspector of Police, Muththaiahpuram, Jayaseelan visited the encounter spot and sent the body to the Thoothukudi Medical College Hospital for a post-mortem.

Following the encounter, police personnel have been deployed at Thirumalaipuram and Muththaiahpuram.

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