CHENNAI: A DMK party functionary was shot and subsequently hacked by an armed gang near the Kalaignar Karunanidhi Salai junction in West Saidapet on Monday morning at 8.30 am. The DMK functionary is being treated and is recovering in a hospital. Police, later in the evening, arrested four persons.
The victim, 50-year-old R J Jagannathan alias ‘Gate’ Jaga alias Jagan, who himself is facing several criminal cases, had just crossed the Kalaignar Karunanidhi Salai junction when a bullet fired by a man on a motorbike pierced his right arm and another bullet pierced his chest. Police said Jagannathan had slowed down for a speed breaker on the road when shooters fired at him. As he fell on the road, armed men alighted from a car and hacked him a few times with sickles before fleeing.
“It must have been around 8.30 am, when I was jolted by the sound of two gun shots and then screams. When I rushed to the spot, I saw Jagannathan in a pool of blood,” said E Murugan, watchman in a school that is in the vicinity where the attack took place.
Jagannathan was taken to a government hospital and later admitted to a private multi-specialty hospital where he is undergoing treatment until Monday evening. Police said his condition has improved and he is stable.
R Vinod (28), from MGR Nagar, S Hariharan (30) from Padinallur, D Suresh (27) from Kodambakkam and G Karthik from Tiruvanmyur, all associates of Manikankan (CD Mani) another history sheeter, were arrested. Sources said that they had suspected these associates of Manikandan, who is presently in Puzhal prison, to have carried out the job.
“There is much enmity between the two over real estate dealings. Last May, Manikandan’s men had allegedly hurled a crude bomb into a building constructed by Jagannathan,” said a police officer. Police sources said this is the fifth such attempt on the life of Jagannathan. Manikandan was arrested in August when he was found possessing a country gun and bullets at Medavakkam.
Police said even on Monday they suspect it was a country gun that the assailants used. Police cleared the area where the attack occurred to allow the traffic and students in the nearby school that opens at 9 am, to pass freely.
“I was sweeping the school premises when I heard screams. And people were saying there was a gun shot. Since it was during the peak time, all the vehicles were lined up and there was traffic jam for about an hour.