A gruesome discovery shocked the residents of Periyar Nagar in Thiruvanmiyur, back in July 1988. It all started when the police exhumed several bodies from an under-construction house and its surrounding area. As the investigators dug up the soil, one decomposed body after another was unearthed, leaving the community in panic. Large crowds gathered at the scene, making it difficult for the police to maintain control.
The victims were identified as Sampath, Mohan, Govindaraj, and Ravi, all aged between 25 and 30. They hailed from Mandaveli and had gone missing since May 29, prompting Sampath’s brother to file a complaint with the Abhiramapuram police. The investigation began with an autorickshaw driver named Shekar, who had transported the three victims to a lodge on Lattice Bridge Road on the day they went missing.
Based on information provided by Shekar, the police apprehended Shankar, a resident of Periyar Nagar, along with his associates Babu and Jayavelu. Shankar, who was involved in the illicit arrack trade, led the police to the spot where they had buried the bodies. This shocking revelation exposed the cold-blooded murders committed by Shankar.
The case took an even more alarming turn when, on July 15, another body, that of a young woman, was discovered in a hut. This revelation came to light following the arrest of Shankar’s younger brother, Mohan. Periyar Nagar, known for its slums and notorious activities like the sale of illicit liquor and flesh trade in the 1970s and 1980s, was now the epicenter of a horrifying crime.
Shankar, born in 1955, had a troubled upbringing. He came to the city at a young age and engaged in various illegal activities, including driving autorickshaws and selling illicit arrack. Eventually, he turned to running a brothel and married multiple women. His criminal activities involved eliminating anyone who interfered with his operations.
The police discovered that Shankar had committed several murders, including that of Lalitha, who had eloped with his associate Sudalai. Shankar’s brutal killings involved strangulation, beating, and burying the bodies. He was finally arrested along with his associates, and a charge sheet was filed against them.
In a daring escape, Shankar and two others managed to flee from the Madras Central Prison in 1990. However, they were apprehended and brought back to face justice. The trial resulted in death sentences for Shankar, Eldin, and Shivaji, while others received life imprisonment.
On April 27, 1995, Shankar was hanged at the Salem Central Prison. This tragic chapter in Periyar Nagar’s history serves as a reminder of the horrifying crimes that can occur in the darkest corners of society.