CHENNAI: In a horrifying case of mob vigilantism, Ramu, a 31-year-old migrant worker from Andhra Pradesh was mistaken to be a mobile thief and beaten to death allegedly by four men at a construction site in Perumbakkam on Sunday night.
According to a police officer, “Four construction workers were talking at the site in Sowmiya Nagar on Sunday night. Around 9.30 pm, they noticed Ramu roaming around in the area. When they questioned him, Ramu could not reply properly as he was not fluent in Tamil. The workers mistook him for a thief and thrashed him. One of the workers had lost his mobile phone last week. Therefore, he assumed that Ramu was the one who had stolen it and had come back to steal valuables from the area.”
When Ramu fell unconscious, the four men dragged him away and dumped him in a park nearby and left. “They did not realise that Ramu had already died. Throughout Monday, walkers at the park assumed that Ramu was drunk. On Tuesday morning, a walker noticed blood on Ramu’s head and alerted the police, “ the officer said.
‘They did not realise he had already died’
"The police recovered the body and sent it to the Chrompet Government Hospital for post-mortem," the officer said. The department perused CCTV footage and found the group of workers dragging away Ramu to the park. Two persons have been detained in this connection. According to police, inquires with workers on the construction site revealed that one of them had worked with Ramu two months ago at another construction site in Velachery. He also said that Ramu was not fluent in Tamil. The Pallikaranai police have registered a case and investigation is underway.
In a similar case, residents of Maduravoyal attacked a 21-year-old man suspecting him to be a bike thief, on February 14. Police arrested six persons, including three juveniles, in this connection on Monday. The injured man, identified as Praveen Kumar, is a resident of Shenoy Nagar. Police said he was working in a shop that supplied water cans. On February 14, Praveen had gone to meet his friend Mohan, who lives in Maduravoyal and was waiting on Abirami Nagar Main Road for another friend of his.
"As Praveen was sitting on a bike parked along the roadside, residents assumed that he was trying to steal a bike. When a group of people questioned Praveen, he panicked and started to run. The residents gave him a chase and attacked him," a police officer said.
Some persons who noticed this, alerted the police control room. A team led by Inspector Matheshwaran rescued Praveen and admitted him to Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital. Perusing CCTV footage, police arrested Jayaseelan (35) and Charles alias Karthikeyan (42) from Nerkundram, Shyam (38) of Maduravoyal, and three juveniles from Abirami Nagar.