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Tamil Nadu: Cops gun down one, nab two after jeweller’s wife, son killed in robbery

One of the gang members was killed in an encounter as he tried to escape while the other two were arrested, police said, adding they recovered the jewellery as well.

Written by Janardhan Koushik | Chennai |
Updated: January 27, 2021 11:33:43 pm
Muslim community, superintendent of police tapi, Gujarat news, muslims in gujarat, religious books, Bapa Sitaram Nagar, Nagar Palika anganwadi, india, indian express newsA house that was used as a prayer hall by the Muslim community was allegedly vandalised and religious books were burnt by unidentified persons in Songadh town of Tapi district on Thursday.

Tamil Nadu Police Wednesday busted a three-member gang, which killed two family members of a jewellery shop owner and robbed around 16 kg gold near Sirkazhi town in the Mayiladuthurai district.

One of the gang members was killed in an encounter as he tried to escape while the other two were arrested, police said, adding they recovered the jewellery as well.

The alleged criminals- Manipal, Manush, and Ramesh – barged into the residence of Dhanraj Choudhary, the shop owner and tried to rob jewellery. As his family members tried to resist, the gang of robbers attacked them with knives and machetes. Choudhary’s 47-year-old wife Asha and 28-year-old son Akhil died on the spot, while his daughter-in-law Nihila suffered injuries.

How the incident unfolded?

Choudhary, a native of Rajasthan, has been running the jewellery and the pawn shop at Dharmakulam for the last 40 years. It is learnt that the gang members knocked on his door on Wednesday morning. As they spoke in Hindi, the shop owner grew curious and opened the door to enquire who they were. As soon as he stepped out, the robbers shoved him aside and barged in. Holding the shop owner at gunpoint, they asked him to tell them where he kept all the jewellery. As his family members screamed for help, the gang attacked them. They then took out 16kg gold and fled the spot in the shop owner’s SUV.

As the word of the incident spread , locals informed the police. A check-post was set up to make sure the perpetrators don’t escape the district. Some locals reportedly spotted three outsiders huddled in a discussion in an agricultural field near Erukkur, on the route between Sirkazhi and Chidambaram, and started to make enquiries. They grew suspicious and alerted the police, who arrived shortly after and confirmed that the three were the robbers they were looking for.

According to local reports, a police team, led by Mayiladuthurai SP N Shreenatha, surrounded the field and asked the robbers to surrender. However, the gang refused and threatened to attack them with firearms and other weapons that they had. After waiting a while for the robbers to turn themselves over, the police charged at them. Manipal reportedly opened fire at the police team, injuring one of them on the shoulder. The police fired back, killing Manipal. His body was sent to Sirkazhi government hospital for post-mortem examination. The other two gang members were arrested from the scene of the firefight.

Speaking to local media, Thirumalai, a resident of Erukkur and an eyewitness to the incident, said, “Some passersby said they spotted three Hindi-speaking persons roaming in our field. A few of us walked across to them and asked why they were huddled in the field. As they fumbled for answers, we grew suspicious and alerted the police. They were carrying bags which had guns and machetes, among other items. The incident has left the entire village in shock.”

Tamil Nadu DGP J Tripathy congratulated Mayiladuthurai police for busting the gang within four hours of the incident.

Speaking to indianexpress.com, Sirkazhi inspector Ram said investigation is underway. As per the latest report, the police have arrested one more person named Karunaram in connection with the incident.

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