Coimbatore: Police on Tuesday shot dead a key accused in the recent kidnapping and murder of 2 children of a businessman when he allegedly tried to escape from custody after snatching a policeman`s revolver, days after his arrest for the brutal crime which sparked a public outrage.
Police claimed the incident occurred when the accused, Mohanraj, was being taken near Pollachi on the city outskirts, where he had thrown 11-year-old Muskin and her brother Ritik Jain (7) into a canal after raping the girl. Two policemen were also injured in the "encounter".
As the police van reached Kuppamedu, Mohanraj, in his 20s, "suddenly" snatched a revolver from escorting sub-inspector Muthumalai and asked the driver to take the vehicle to Kerala, Police Commissioner Sylendra Babu told reporters here.
After the driver refused to do so, Mohanraj fired at Muthumalai and Jyothi, another sub-inspector, who, however, managed to overpower him before Inspector Annadurai fired three rounds at the accused, killing him instantly, he said.
Mohanraj received bullet injuries on his chest, right eye and middle of the forehead, he said, adding Muthumalai and Joythi, who were injured in the incident, had been admitted to a government hospital here.
The issue today had an echo in Tamil Nadu Assembly where opposition AIADMK and MDMK staged a walk-out after the Speaker refused them permission for raising it.
Muskin and Ritik, children of a textile merchant here, were allegedly abducted by Mohanraj, their former van driver, when they were on their way to school on October 29.
Mohanraj had initially planned to demand a ransom, but was overcome by fear of police action and killed the children by pushing them into a canal. He was arrested 11 days ago.
The girl was allegedly raped by Mohanraj and his friend Manoharan.
The bodies were recovered a few days later.
The incident had evoked public outrage with people throwing eggs on Mohanraj when he was brought to a court soon after their arrest.
Shocked by the incident, Coimbatore went into a
mourning with students and teachers wearing black badges and
holding prayers on the day of cremation of the victims.