PUDUCHERRY:A rowdy-turned-politician wanted by Puducherry police in a murder case was arrested at gunpoint in Madurai and brought to Puducherry on Sunday. According to sources, Thatanchavady Senthil was a rowdy who turned over a new leaf after entering politics. Maduvupet Sundar and Murali of Lawspet were associates of Senthil when the latter was involved in criminal activities.
Sundar and Murali were friends and were accused in several crimes, including murders. The duo used to split the money they made through illegal activites such as mamool between themselves. However, at one point, a dispute broke out between the two in sharing the extortion money and each formed their own gangs. Subsequently, clashes broke out between the two rival groups.
Following this, Thatanchavady Senthil called the two warring groups for a peace meet at a place owned by him on Vazhudavoor road at Kathirkamam on February 18. However, an altercation broke out between the two groups during the meeting which ended in Sundar and his supporters murdering Murali in front of Senthil. Later, the murderers decided to dispose off the body in order to hush up the murder. They wrapped the body in a tarpaulin sheet and carried it on a bike to dump it in another area. Their plans went awry after the body fell off the bike at Kokku park traffic junction and the persons who were taking the body fled the spot on the same bike.
Following this, police started a probe and registered cases against 13 people, including Sundar and Senthil. The officers were successful in nabbing 12 of the accused and were searching for Senthil, who had gone into hiding after the incident. Meanwhile, both Sundar and Senthil were booked under Goondas Act based on orders by the then District Collector. During the same time, Senthil applied for an anticipatory bail at Madras High Court through his lawyers. However, the petition was turned down and he was ordered to surrender and get a bail from Puducherry court.
When Senthil didn’t surrender and continued to be at large, Puducherry Court issued an order announcing him a declared accused and asked the district administration to freeze his bank accounts and confiscate all his assets. A week ago, authorities froze his bank accounts which together contained nearly `2.4 crore. Also, `40 crore worth of assets were seized.
Around the same time, police arrested a close associate of Senthil and found that the person made calls to a particular number regularly. It was later confirmed that this number was being used by Senthil. Following this, a team led by inspector Karthikeyan from special task force wing went to Madurai and camped there. Using tracing equipment, they monitored Senthil’s movement and confirmed that he was staying near the Azhagar temple.
On Saturday night, police found that he was returning to his hiding place, a flat in an apartment building which he had taken on rent, after visiting the Azhagar temple. Police then intercepted his car and arrested him at gunpoint as police suspected he would resist arrest. Senthil was brought to Puducherry on Sunday. He was presented before the magistrate and jailed.
16 cases, including murder, filed against him
As many as 16 cases, including murder, had been filed against Senthil, who was later called Thatanchavady Senthil. He was released in most of the cases, but some were still pending against him. A few years ago, he declared that he was giving up crime and gave a letter to the police. After that, he actively pursued politics and joined NR Congress. He sought a seat during the 2016 Assembly elections