Thiruchchirapalli (TPJ): The Tiruchy Railway Protection Force (RPF) trailing the mastermind of a series of property thefts for the past 25 years finally recorded success on Tuesday, with the arrest of the 45-year-old son of a retired railway employee.
A major breakthrough was made when 25 accomplices of ‘Thuppakki’ R Ramesh (45), of Sangiliyandpuram, were nabbed last week while trying to escape with a van full of stolen railways property.
R.Ramesh alias Thuppakki Ramesh (46), a history sheeter involved in many robbery cases earlier, was also detained, arrested and remanded several times in the past earlier under the Goondas Act, he continued his criminal acts. He was detained under the Act to curtail his nefarious activities, a police release here said.
During inquiry, three of his aides had reportedly spilled the beans on Ramesh, who fearing arrest had moved the district sessions court for anticipatory bail, but in vain, sources said.
According to the RPF, Ramesh had been operating a specially trained gang, exclusively for stealing fish plates, iron materials and copper cables from coaches at the yard in Tiruchy railway junction and Golden Rock workshop for years.
On April 29, acting on a tip-off, the RPF had arrested 25 people while trying to make away with stolen railways property in a van. However, Ramesh had managed to give the personnel the slip then. Meanwhile, interrogation of the detenus exposed the identity of the kingpin and the force was on his trail since then. The RPF finally traced Ramesh to his relatives’s house and arrested him on Tuesday evening.
Interrogations showed that Ramesh was an accused in over 25 theft cases, including five in Karaikudi section and five in Tiruchy railway limit, said RPF inspector Packirisamy. Moreover, 15 cases were pending in Golden Rock and Palakkarai police stations against Ramesh, he added. Sources said Ramesh had first come up with the idea of stealing railways property while visiting the Golden Rock Railway Workshop with his father. He started by nicking iron nuts and bolts from the workshop. As his experience and confidence grew, he began pilfering cables and fish plates. He later began taking youngsters under his wings to train them in the art.
Ramesh was remanded in judicial custody. Son of a retired railway employee in Trichy, Ramesh allegedly trained more than 25 youths in Ponmalai, Sangiliyandapuram, Kajapettai areas to steal the materials attached to the railway tracks and condemned coaches. It was found that many of his recruits were graduates.
A slew of cases was pending in various instances like theft, robbery etc in RPF in Trichy and Karaikudi, Golden Rock police, Gandhi market and Palakkarai police and was previously arrested by the RPF and police. The accused was produced in a Trichy court on Wednesday which remanded him in prison.