Tirunelveli: The most-wanted notorious criminal Neeravi Murugan was shot dead by police near Nanguneri in Tirunelveli district. A special team, who went in search of Murugan, from Dindigul district in a robbery case reported in Palani, gunned him down after having busted his hideout near a petrol bunk on Kalakad road.
Murugan attempted to attack the police, who opened fire in self-defence, he was a native of Thoothukudi. He’s wanted in several cases of crime in various districts and was nabbed by a special team at gunpoint in Valliyoor of Tirunelveli district in 2019.
Murugan has a history of over a hundred violent crime cases such as murder, attempt to murder, robbery and dacoity.
On December 21, 2014, he had robbed schoolteacher, S. Selvam, at knife-point at MCN Nagar in Thoraipakkam. A resident of the locality captured the brazen daytime robbery on a phone camera, which subsequently went viral. He was subsequently arrested by a special team in January this year who picked him up from Tirunelveli.
A native of Thoothukudi, Murugan took the moniker ‘Neeravi’ after his village and went on to live up to its literal meaning (vapour) by making good his escape after a daring robbery. “There must be at least 50 pending cases against Murugan,” says a senior police officer. The police said he shifted base to northern Tamil Nadu operating in Chennai and Kancheepuram after spending the initial years in Thoothukudi, Nellai and Dindigul.
“ln Chennai alone, the cops have found him to be involved in 10 cases using a similar modus operandi, especially in the southern suburbs like Madipakkam, Puzhuthivakkam, Keelkattai areas,” the police officer added. The Madipakkam police have taken five days’ custody of Murugan to recover the booty. Two of his accomplices, who are suspected to be involved in the crimes in these areas, have gone underground and their arrest will lead to more recovery, the police said.
“Murugan doesn’t use the same accomplice in his tasks and is careful that the other person is kept in the dark about the ways to reach him. He is the one who calls people and informs them about his presence in the area and have them work with him. He has used 72 mobile phones so far,” a police officer said.