Illicit sand quarrying in Nanguneri police sub-division has led to yet another murder. This time, a youth was hacked to death by two brothers with whom he had enmity over lifting sand illegally from Nambiyar riverbed and adjacent areas.

It was in the same sub-division – near Vijayanarayanam – that a police constable attached to the Special Branch, S. Jegadish Durai, was gruesomely murdered when he tried to nab illicit sand miners in the early hours of May 7.

The police said S. Subbiah (23) of Manjankulam under Nanguneri police station limits had enmity with his cousin V. Sudalaikannu (32) of the same village and his brother V. Arumugam (26) over lifting sand illegally.

The police arrested Arumugam and seized his tractor when he was removing sand 10 days back, and Sudalaikannu suspected that the tip-off from Subbiah led to the arrest of his brother.

After Arumugam was enlarged on bail, the brothers went to the house of Subbiah on Monday evening and warned him of dire consequences.

Within an hour, Subbiah, along with his supporters who were carrying weapons, went to the house of his cousins and ransacked the house. Sudalaikannu and Arumugam filed a complaint with Nanguneri police.

In the hideout

To evade arrest in the case, Subbiah stayed in a plantain farm near Manjankulam on Monday night.

As the brothers came to know of his hideout, they went to the farm around 5 a.m. on Tuesday and hacked Subbiah to death on the spot, the police said. Cheranmahadevi ASP Ashish Rawath visited the spot.

Sand, which has become scarce, is being sold at an exorbitant price after the quarries were closed following a direction issued by the Madras High Court.

Illicit sand miners, who are in this lucrative business with the clandestine support of a few officials, are making huge money in the district. As several rivers, including the Tamirabharani, are running across the district, illicit sand miners, after marking their areas of operation, are freely lifting river sand.

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