A 40-year-old mason whom villagers suspected to be a thief was brutally lynched to death here, late on Monday night. Police arrested four persons on Tuesday on charges of murder.
It is said that the people of Erayur village here had been experiencing several thefts for the past few days. They had lodged complaints with the police, but the thefts continued. Frustrated, the villagers formed groups and stepped up night patrolling by themselves.
On Monday, a group of youth comprising S Velumurugan (33), S Palraj (20), R Rajaram (25) and V Murugesan (35) were on the rounds. While they were patrolling the Mariamman temple street, they found three persons on a motorcycle.
When the patrol group intercepted the bike-borne men, they were shocked to find lethal weapons like a knife, sickle, a bunch of barbed wires and chilli powder in the latter’s possession. Finding themselves cornered, the four started to flee, but the villagers chased them and managed to catch a 40-year-old man among the group.
The villagers tied his hands behind his back and started to beat him, during which he fell unconscious.
On Tuesday morning, Maruvathur police received information about a body found at Mariamman Koil street. They rushed to the spot and retrieved the body, and held enquiries. The body was identified as P Vadivel, a mason from Thuraimangalam. It is alleged that Vadivel and his two friends were proceeding to Erayur, when they landed into the hands of the village patrol group.
Meanwhile, VAO Aruldas, lodged a complaint with Maruvathur police. who arrested Velmurugan, Palraj, Ramachandran and Murugesan.
Initial investigations revealed that Vadivel was a mason. Police are trying to find out why Vadivel came to the spot with weapons.