A Namakkal court on Friday acquitted notorious serial rapist M Jaishankar in a murder and robbery case. The court also acquitted co-accused P Mohan Selvam.
Jaishankar, believed to be involved in around 30 rape, murder and robbery cases across Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, had escaped from the high-security Central Prison in Bangalore on September 1, 2013. He was caught on September 7.
Additional District Judge S Manvizhi acquitted Jaishankar (37), a native of Konasamudram, Salem, on benefit of doubt.
Jaishankar was brought to the court amid tight security and was kept inside a police vehicle till the judgment was passed in the afternoon. Later, he was taken back to the Bangalore Central Prison.
Jaishankar’s accomplice Selvam (35), of Anna Nagar, Erode, whom he had befriended while serving term in Omalur prison, was also acquitted. Both were accused of brutally murdering 50-year-old K Thangammal Ponnaya of Thillaipuram in Namakkal town on September 10, 2009 at her farm near here. Jaishankar and Selvam hacked the helpless woman with a sickle and severed one of her limbs before robbing her of a chain weighing around 8.5 sovereigns. A senior police officer said the involvement of Jaishankar came to light when he confessed to the Tiruppur police, who had arrested him in October 2009 in connection with the rape and murder of M Jayamani, a constable. She was on duty at Peramanallur on August 23, 2009, during the visit of then deputy chief minister M K Stalin to Tiruppur. Paramathi police took him into custody for a few days after he was imprisoned at the Central Jail in Coimbatore.
Meanwhile, sources said lapses in investigation and failure to substantiate the charges (murder and robbery under Section 302 and 392 of IPC respectively) led to the acquittal. It may be noted that Jaishankar had escaped from the police on March 17, 2011, while he was being escorted back from a Dharmapuri Court. Chinnasamy, a policeman escorting him, killed himself after the incident.