Confessing to a recent murder in this Tamil Nadu town, the arrested ringleader of a gang admitted to two more killings and is being questioned about more unsolved crimes, police said on Friday.
"Based on specific information that Maha alias Mahalingam, 27, masterminded the murder of John Sekar, the public relations officer of a hospital here, March 16, we nabbed him in Chennai on Tuesday foiling his attempt to surrender in a magistrate's court to escape being questioned," a police official told IANS.
On interrogation, Maha admitting to being behind at least two more murders and is being questioned about more unsolved crimes, the official said.
Sekar, 45, who was employed in the Christian Medical College in Vellore, 280 km from Chennai, was allegedly killed for preventing N Babu, 32, the owner of an outsourced ambulance service, from fleecing patients, the official added.
The body of Sekar, bearing multiple stab wounds, was found March 17.
According to police sources, Babu was arrested last week and confessed to plotting the murder with the help of four others. Based on this information, three men - Pallu Prakasam, 26, Rajendran alias Appu, 21 and K Jagan, 22, were arrested. Their confession led the police to the Mahalingam, who had allegedly planned and executed the crime.
Mahalingam was arrested before he could surrender to a magistrate in Chennai and thereby land in judicial custody beyond the reach of the police in Vellore, the sources said. The police alleged that he admitted to two more murders - of 32-year-old financier K. Shankar killed January 17 and M Gilani, 17, in 2003.
Suspecting the gang members could be involved in other crimes too, they are still beinmg questioned in a bid to solve some of the seven other recent murders in the neighbourhood, a police statement added.