CHENNAI: A police head constable was sentenced to life imprisonment by a trial court in Tiruvallur on Wednesday, six years after he shot dead a man in police custody to avenge his mother’s murder.
The head constable Murugan, who was then with Mappedu police station, lost his cool when escorting two undertrial prisoners, R Dhanasekar and V Seemon, who were arrested for murdering Murugan’s mother Muniammal in 2008 for the gold ear rings she was wearing.
The constable apparently took revenge on July 9, 2010 when he was one of the policemen armed with rifles escorting the two accused in a van to court for a hearing.
While Tiruvallur police first said Murugan shot at Dhanasekar and Seemon when they tried to escape from the van, the case was later transferred to CBI. The CBI filed a charge sheet against Murugan on charges of murdering Dhanasekan and injuring Seemon, who suffered bullet injuries on his hands.
After a five-year trial, fast track court judge Vetri Selvi on Thursday ruled that Murugan was guilty of murdering Dhanasekar.
The case took twists and turns when Seemon, a key eyewitness in the case against Murugan, absconded in 2011 after he came out on bail. Seemon had several robbery and murder cases pending against him.
A CBI team traced Seemon at a tea shop in Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh, where he was working to escape from other cases against him.
Police said Seemon and Dhanasekar, both from Palani Kottai village, were involved in three murders of senior citizens in Tiruvallur district between 2007 and 2008.
One of their victims was the head constable Murugan’s mother Muniammal (65) of R K Pettai near Tirutani. She was grazing cattle on a September afternoon when the two killed her for four grams of gold ear rings she was wearing.
They were soon arrested but Murugan took his revenge on July 9, 2010 when he was part of the team escorting the two men who allegedly killed his mother.
The van, which was taking the undertrials from Puzhal jail to a court, was passing through Kanagamma Chathiram when Murugan opened fire on the two men, killing Dhanasekar and injuring Seemon.
The statement of Seemon and four other undertrials who were travelling in the van were crucial evidence for the prosecution.