MADURAI: A gang swooped down on Kosavapatti and whisked away a former panchayat president from his house on February 27. His son, who followed the kidnappers, went missing for days. His wife lodged a complaint with the police and moved a habeas corpus petition. Two days later, news emerged that the kidnappers were police sleuths from Andhra Pradesh, where the former civic chief was taken in connection with a robbery case.
While the legality of P Ganeshan’s (45) ‘arrest’ was questionable, this was not his first tryst with law enforcement agencies. He was always on the radar of sleuths from three states.
Know for his skills as the leader of a highwaymen gang, Ganeshan’s primary targets were goods-laden trucks and he had developed a special liking for laying hands on cigarette and home appliance consignments.
He shot to notoriety in 2015, when he was arrested by the Yellapur police in Karnataka for robbing cigarettes from a container lorry. He would hire a mini-truck under the pretext of transporting goods to Telengana, AP, and Karnataka and then target vehicles. His henchmen were adept at robbing moving vehicles.
It was this notoriety that landed a bunch of sleuths at his doors on February 27. The officials demanded that Ganeshan accompany them for questioning. Ganeshan reportedly protested, saying he knew the local police and would report to them directly. He was soon bundled him into a car.
Sensing something amiss, Ganeshan’s son Arun followed the vehicle on his bike. Ever since then, there was no news of both father and son. Fearing that her son too was in the gang’s custody, Ganeshan’s wife Ruby lodged a complaint with the Vickramangalam police. She later moved a habeas corpus plea.
Respite to the family came two days later on March 1, when the Visakhapatnam police sent a word through their Madurai counterparts that Ganeshan had been taken in custody in connection with a robbery case. When contacted, the local police said they received only the case number.
Meanwhile, Arun, who had gone in search of his father, returned on March 3. He reportedly informed Ruby that he was kept under detention for a night, but released the next day. The local police are yet to conduct inquiry with him. When Express tried to contact him, he was unavailable for comments.