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16 Jul 2024, Edition - 3290, Tuesday

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Tamilnadu News

The New Year that never came for a TN cop shot dead in Rajasthan

A.R Meyyammai



His aged mother and extended family at Salaipudur village in Moovirunthali panchayat in Tirunelveli district was expecting his arrival for Christmas and New Year celebrations. His 10-day stay at the village during this time every year is a big motivation for the youth. Inspired and motivated by him, four youngsters of Salaipudur have joined the police force.

It is hardly 10 days for Christmas and just as the excitement for family get-together and return of the son of the soil grew thicker, the television channels beamed the news of his death.

S.Joseph (41), a teacher in a private school at Sankarankoil, was getting ready to go to work when neighbours hurried to his house, asking him to switch on the TV and watch the early morning news bulletin.

The entire family was shocked as they heard the news reader saying S.Periyapandian (49), Inspector of Maduravoyal police station, was shot dead by a suspect in the Pali district of Rajasthan where he had been to arrest two men involved in the burglary of a jewellery store at Kolathur in Chennai. He was part of a special team that went in search of 2 main suspects in the case – Nathuram from Pali and Dinesh Chowdary from Jodhpur district. Police said stones were pelted at the cops and they were attacked with iron rods when they were trying to nab the duo. Periyapandian was shot dead when he was chasing one of them.

“We have still not recovered from the shock. Eldest of all, Periyapandi annan is a pillar of support to the entire family. It was he who got all our three sisters married off and helped me do my post graduation and M.Ed. He was the only to one to be in government service in our family and also outside Moovirunthali,” his brother S.Joseph told The Covai Post.

A graduate in Zoology, Periyapandian, who hails from an agricultural family, aspired to join police service when he was young. He joined as a constable and served for 5 years in Tihar jail in Delhi. He got selected as sub-inspector and rose to the level of inspector in 2014 and has been in Chennai for the last 15 years.

“He is always active and does his work to perfection. He caught the accused from North India and seized 8 cars lifted by them 2 months ago. A year ago, he recovered 25 bikes and arrested the gang, also from the north. For annan, work is worship. He hardly spends time with his family. He visits us for Christmas every year and stays with us for 10 days during when he motivates the village youth to take to police service,”Joseph says.

The last time Periyapandian spoke to Joseph was at about 1 pm on Tuesday when he said he would catch the accused and return on Wednesday morning. “Unfortunately, he is returning as a dead body,”Joseph says in a voice choked with emotion.

Today, Salaipudur with about 100 houses is in deep mourning. The people here are grateful to Periyapandian, for he was generous enough to donate 15 cents of his family’s ancestral land to house a panchayat union school. “He knows the importance of education. We used to walk some 6 km up and down to attend school those days. Hence, he took the initiative to donate our land for the school,” recalls Joseph.

Their gratitude is reflected in the obituary banners placed for him all over the village. His body will be brought to Salaipudur and laid to rest nearer to the school on Thursday.

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