Police on Tuesday shot dead the prime accused in the sensational October kidnapping and murder of two young siblings, saying he was trying to escape.
Mohanraj was the prime accused in the kidnap, sexual assault and murder of Muskan, 10, and Rithik, 7.
Police Commissioner C. Sylendra Babu told reporters: "The accused was shot dead in self-protection and to prevent Mohanraj's escape."
Police were Tuesday taking Mohanraj and his alleged accomplice Manoharan in two different vans to identify the spot where the crime was committed.
Police say en route Mohanraj snatched the pistol of sub-inspector Jothi, who was escorting him, and asked the driver to stop the vehicle. When the driver refused, Mohanraj started firing, injuring sub-inspectors Jothi and Muthumalai.
Inspector Annadurai then fired at Mohanraj and shot him dead, police say.
The injured policemen were admitted to Kovai Medical Hospital while the body of Mohanraj was taken to Coimbatore Medical College Hospital for autopsy.
On Oct 29, Mohanraj had kidnapped Muskan and her brother Rithik with the intention of taking ransom. His accomplice was Manoharan. Subsequently the duo sexually assaulted the girl and tortured the boy and drowned both the children in the Parambikulam-Aliyar Project Canal.
Coimbatore Police had taken the two accused under their custody for investigations Monday.