A 39-year-old man involved in at least 28 criminal cases was gunned down by the Villupuram district police here Tuesday after he attacked one of the police personnel with a machete causing grievous injury. The deceased had been identified as Manikandan aka Dhatha Manikandan, a native of Kuilapalayam village in Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu.
Of the 28 cases, eight of them were for murder registered in various places like Auroville, Gingee, Mailam, Tirukoilur, Kottakuppam, Kiliyanur, Vanur, etc.
Who is this Manikandan?
Manikandan, a history-sheeter, had been involved in numerous cases ranging from murder to robbery to supplying country-made bombs to land grabbing, etc. According to police, Manikandan had been a notorious criminal in Auroville near Villupuram and other surrounding areas of Puducherry. He had threatened several foreigners who wish to buy land in Auroville and nearby surroundings and has also served as a henchman for several political parties over the decades.
How did the encounter pan out?
Based on a tip-off, the Villupuram police came to know that Manikandan had been staying in a posh neighborhood in Anna Nagar West extension in Chennai for the past couple of days. A team of six police officials from Auroville Township came to Chennai to nab the accused. The team had surrounded the Manikandan s house in the evening around 7 pm on Tuesday.
Auroville police sub-inspectors Prabhu and Prakash had barged into Manikandan s house and had instructed him to surrender in connection with one businessman babu’s murder case. Refusing to surrender, Manikandan immediately attacked Inspector Prabhu with a machete causing grievous injury. In a bid to escape, when he tried attacking another sub-inspector Prakash, the police officer opened fire at Manikandan in an act of self-defence. The accused was brought to Kilpauk Medical College Hospital where he was declared dead.
Senior officials, including DGP JK Tripathy, City law and order ADGP K Jayanth Murali, Villupuram SI Jayakumar made a spot visit and also enquired about the injured officer admitted at the hospital.
Speaking to the reporters on Tuesday, Villupuram SI Jayakumar said, "A team of six police personnel including two SI and four constables surrounded the house on Tuesday evening. The sub-inspectors told Dhatha Mani to surrender in connection with a case, but he didn t listen to them and instead attacked the sub-inspector Prabhu on his head with a machete. He then tried to attack another sub-inspector, Prakash who in turn opened two-gun shots as an act of self-defence, the police said. He added that sub-inspector Prabhu had to be given eight stitches and is now under medical care.
Under section 176 of the IPC, a magistraterial inquiry has been ordered into this encounter.