Apart from the environment and lack of space to live in, the slum colony in Kannagi Nagar had also posed a huge challenge over the years for the police to maintain law and order.
Police officials, who were earlier posted in the station there, recalled how crimes including gruesome murders shot up towards the end of the last decade. “Many offenders, who lived in different localities in the city, were all under one roof. So, there were differences, and as a result altercations broke out leading to murders,” an official said.
Police had then faced a tough time dealing with at least five to 10 petty cases every day — like fights between families over sharing a single toilet, quarrels between women and love affairs. There was a time when the colony faced a series of heinous crimes like murders for revenge and business rivalries.
Police sources recalled one of the murders that resulted out of a rivalry over offering cable connections in the locality.
A separate police station was set up in 2011 to maintaining peace among people relocated from various parts of the Chennai city.
Strict patrolling through day and night with support from eight surveillance cameras helped police bring down the crime rate. Many notorious offenders were also caught and imprisoned as cops curbed the sale of ganja in the local school.
Just when the residents in the colony heaved a sigh of relief from the series of shocking incidents in their locality, police sources claimed the colony had began to witness suicide cases that were mainly due to loss of livelihood.
“They were all daily wage labourers who made little money in the city. After they were shifted here, many lost their jobs. Poverty seemed to have driven them to take their own lives,” a police official said.
Also, police sources claimed some of the surveillance cameras were now not functioning, making it difficult for the cops to keep a vigil in the colony.