Three people, including a retired policeman, were arrested on Saturday for the murder of Sub-Inspector R. Vetrivel of the Tamil Nadu Police in the state's Tirunelveli district. The trio said Vetrivel was attacked "by mistake".
Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi, expressing his condolences, announced financial assistance of Rs.700,000 for Vetrivel's family. He also ordered preference in a government job to an eligible family member.
Speaking to IANS from Tirunelveli over phone, Superintendent of Police Asra Garg said: "We have arrested three people - A. Kandasami, P. Kannabiran and Shanmugasundaram - in connection with Vetrivel's murder. We are on the lookout for 10 more people."
Vetrivel, attached to the Alwarkurichi police station, was attacked in broad daylight on Thursday. As he lay on the road bleeding, a convoy of ministers M.R.K. Paneerselvam and T.P.M. Mohideen Khan reached there.
Television footage showed the ministers and other officials, including police personnel, waiting passively for an ambulance. Vetrivel, writhing in pain, bled to death soon after.
Garg did not reveal whether the police have located S. Sivakami, the estranged wife of D. Sivasubramanian, a sub inspector at the Kadayam police station in Tirunelveli. This officer was the actual target of the assailants, police said.
While Kandasami is Sivakami's brother, Shanmugasundaram, a retired policeman, is related to Sivasubramanian and Kannabiran was their accomplice in the attack.
Sivasubramanian married Sivakami in 2008. Within a few months, she lodged a dowry harassment case against him. Later the couple separated and according to a police official, a divorce case is pending.
Sivakami's brothers were enraged at their sister's condition and with all patch-up efforts failing, they plotted revenge. Sivasubramanian was attacked twice earlier but escaped.
The assailants Thursday mistook a helmet-clad Vetrivel to be Sivasubramanian and attacked him. Police got a crucial clue about the assailants when a villager informed them about an abandoned motorbike. This was found to be owned by Kandasami.
Meanwhile, the last rites of Vetrivel were performed Friday at Mullikulam village near Sankaranoil where his relatives live. Senior police officials, including Deputy Inspector General P. Kanappan and Garg were present to pay their last respects. Vetrivel was accorded a 21-gun salute.