//Gang rivalry: man hacked to death

Gang rivalry: man hacked to death

Thiruvananthapuram: A 25-year-old man was hacked to death by an armed gang near the Food Corporation of Indian (FCI) godown at Kazhakkuttom on Monday morning. The police identified the deceased as Vinod alias `Changidi’ Vinod.Superintendent of Police S. Gopinath said gangland rivalry was the reason for the murder. A gang led by `Karate’ Suresh, 32, was suspected to be responsible for the crime. Suresh is accused in 11 cases, including attempt to murder. The police said that the victim, Vinod, an autorickshaw driver, owed allegiance to Suresh’s rival gang led by `Aprani’ Krishnakumar.

Last week, an attempt had been made on Suresh’s life by two unidentified persons who hurled country-bombs at him at Medanada. Suresh’s gang members had killed Vinod believing that he had passed on information about their leader’s whereabouts to the attackers, the police said.

Vinod was killed while on his way to drop his six-year-old son at his wife’s house at Thekkemukku around 8 a.m. The attackers, who lay in wait on the narrow path leading to the house, patted Vinod’s son on his head and asked him to flee before chasing and cutting down his father. Vinod lay bleeding with 17 cut injuries in the backyard of a house and was taken to the hospital in a police van. Dy.SP, Attingal, B. Sasidharan is heading the murder investigation.

The police said Vinod’s murder was the high point of a raging gangland feud at Kazhakkuttom. A police crack down was under way to curb the activities of the gangs led by Krishnakumar, Suresh, `Peeli’ Shibu and Ratheesh alias `Unni.’

The gangs owed allegiance to three local politicians heading different factions of the same party. The police said the leaders had often used the services of the gang leaders to settle intra-party scores.The gangs also benefited from illegal money lending, extortion and muscle-for-money operations.The gangland stand-offs have often resulted in injury to citizens, including minor children, who had accidentally set-off country-bombs stashed away by anti-social elements.

Hindu, Jan 17, 2006