SALEM: K Palanisamy (23), a welder, was murdered here by a gang on Sunday night. Later a youth who was picked up on Monday for inquiry by police about the murder is believed to have died in police custody.
According to Karumalaikoodal police, Palanisamy, of Ajay Nagar, Karumalaikoodal near Mettur, was walking near the police station on Sunday around 10.30 pm, when a six-member gang came to the spot by car and slit Palanisamy’s throat with a sickle, killing him on the spot. The gang fled the spot after the murder.
Karumalaikoodal police later sent the body to Mettur Government Hospital for autopsy. The Mettur Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Ravikumar also came to the spot and inquired. The police registered a case and around 1.30 am, picked up eight persons, including N Gokulakannan (22) of the same area who was a contract worker in Mettur Thermal Plant, for inquiry.
On Monday around 6 am, police informed Gokulakannan’s family that he died while police were taking him to Salem Government Mohan Kumaramangalam Medical College Hospital.
They informed the dead youth’s parents that he suffered from stomach ache during the probe and had fainted. Shocked over this, the youth’s relatives gathered near the police station and tried to block the road, but police pacified them.
Police were stationed in the area under supervision of three district Superintendents of Police G Subbulakshmi (Salem), Loganathan (Dharmapuri) and Sibi Chakravarthy (Erode) to avoid any flare up. Inspector General of Police (West Zone) Sankar also questioned the police. Social activists claimed it to be a case of custodial death.