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Bank heist accused rams car on tree fearing police in Pudukottai, dies

The prime accused in a 2014 bank heist, who panicked on spotting a police patrol vehicle, rammed his car into a roadside tree and died in Pudukottai in the early hours of Tuesday.

M. Gopalakrishnan, 31, the deceased, was the main accused in the burglary of 35 kg of gold jewellery from a City Union Bank branch at Kulathur in the district in December 2014. Gopalakrishnan was arrested in the case and was out on bail. However, he faced several other criminal cases booked at various police stations across the State, the police said.

Police sources said Gopalakrishnan was driving a car bearing a Chennai registration number in the early hours of Tuesday. On spotting a police team which was on night rounds near Narthamalai, he reportedly took a turn and sped away in the vehicle fearing detention.

The speeding car rammed a roadside tamarind tree a few kilometres away near Amburpatti four road junction, said the police. On receipt of information, police personnel from Mathur station inspected the spot and found Gopalakrishnan lying dead inside the car. A pair of footwear was found by the police inside the car, triggering suspicion that there could have been another person inside the vehicle.

The police have refuted claims that that the accident happened because the accused was given a chase. S. Selvaraj, Superintendent of Police, Pudukottai, said it was Gopalakrishnan’s rash driving that led to the accident.

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