Chennai police arrest 1,200 people in 'storming operation'

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Chennai, Apr 18 (UNI) In a ''storming operation'' aimed at weeding out rowdy elements, the Chennai City police have arrested 1,200 people, including notorious rowdies, habitual offenders and anti- social elements.

The storming operation by more than 400 special police patrols was carried out last night, during which nine cops, including four policewomen, were also suspended on charges of negligence, an official release said here today.

The special drive by the police came in the aftermath of the sensational heist in the 800-year-old Kapaleeswarar temple in Mylapore yesterday, when some unidentified members broke open the main hundi before the sanctum sanctorum and decamped with the currencies alone.

Even as police officials were groping in the dark, looking for possible clues to trace the culprits, the department went for an intensive search operation last night. The searches conducted all over the city commenced at 2300 hrs and ended at 0500 hrs this morning.

Those arrested included 50 rowdies, 150 old criminals, 50 criminals against whom warrants were pending, 50 with bad habits, 100 for drunken driving and other offences.

Police also detained a criminal, Raja alias Rajasekar (23), who used to rob train passengers at knife point, under the Goondas Act.

Raja was arrested on March 25 for robbing a passenger. During interrogations he confessed to committing similar crimes in various parts of the state, leading to his detention under the Goondas Act, another release from the police said.

UNI GV SJ AM PM1800

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