VELLORE: While investigating the murder of a 55-year-old truck driver, the Vellore police have come to know about a gang of gun-wielding highway robbers, who had sold the goods after gunning him down. The police have detained one of the prime accused in the case and seized a 9 mm gun with five live rounds.
After an unidentified body was found by the side of the road on May 17 at Ampundi lake in Virunchipuram police station, the inquiry floundered for a while, before a villager contacted the owner of the truck that was found abandoned in Seiyathuvannan village near Timiri for two days.
The deceased was identified as R Murugesan (55), a lorry driver and resident of Oldpettai in Karur in Dharmapuri district. The police was shocked to learn that Murugesan was shot dead at a close range.
The investigation revealed a daring highway robbery and murder. The police nabbed one S Vinod Kumar (26) of Veppur near Arcot and seized a 9 mm pistol and five live rounds of bullets from him.
The district police has also sent a special team to arrest Kumar’s associate Raja (26), a resident of Choolaimedu in Chennai, to Dindugal. The team accomplished its task of arresting Raja. “The team is expected to reach Vellore on Wednesday,” said the source.
Going into the crux of the case, the police officer said Murugesan was transporting goods including lift spare parts weighing 5.45 tonne of a private company in Poonamalee and heading towards Kottayam in Kerala to deliver it. The lorry crossed the toll plaza at Sriperumbudur at 11.20 pm on May 16. After that it vanished from the radar of the company and the lorry owner. Their repeated attempts to establish contact with Murugesan did not yield any result.
“The telephone call made by a villager to the lorry owner Annadurai after seeing the contact number on the truck was critical for the investigation team to detect the case,” said a police source.
On May 19, the call from Seiyathuvannan village to Annadurai helped to locate the lorry. However, Annadurai was informed that the lorry was empty. The local people also informed the police about who drove the vehicle to the village. Following the information, the police solved the case.
On interrogation, Kumar confessed to the crime and told the police that he and Raja spotted Murugesan sleeping in the truck after parking it along the NH-4, seven kilometre from Walajapet Toll Plaza). They decided to murder the driver and drove away with the vehicle with the goods to sell it in black market.
They shot him on his head and drove the vehicle with the victim’s body to Kaveripakkam. They shifted the goods in the lorry to a mini van. On their way, they threw Murugesan’s body at Ampundi lake. With the help of their friends, they transported the goods and sold them to a merchant in Vellore for `1.35 lakh. The duo asked one of his friends to abandon the lorry to escape from the case.
A senior police officer said they were investigating the case to arrest the entire gang. “The prime accused told that the gun was bought from Calcutta. We are probing to find its origin,”