Chennai, Jun 13 : Scion of Empee Group of Companies Shaji Purushothaman, cited as the prime accused in the Mercedes Benz hit and run case, was arrested at the Kochi International Airport when he arrived from Bangkok this morning.
Shaji was arrested by the immigration authorities soon after he landed from Bangkok. The arrest of Shaji comes a day after a Chennai Court declared him as a proclaimed offender as he has been evading the police dragnet since the May 23 road rage. Acting on specific information that Shaji, son of Empee Group Chairman M P Purushothaman, was arriving in Kochi from Bangkok, a special team left for the Port city last night.
The special team would bring him to Chennai after getting a transit warrant from a court in Kochi. Police have already issued a 'Look-out Circular' (LOC) against Shaji enabling immigration authorities to detain him on arrival at any international airport in the country. Shaji was behind the wheels in the May 23 road rage, when he drove the Mercedes Benz in a rash manner and ran over some people sleeping on the pavement, killing a boy and grievously injuring a girl at Egmore area in the city.
Shaji had fled the country ever since the accident took place and his anticipatory plea was rejected both by the Chennai court and also by a court in Kerala, leading to the issuance of the LOC. In all four people, including Shaji--all under the influence of alcohol--were travelling in the car when the accident took place. The other three accused, R M Kumar alias 'Kudirai' Kumar, Anil Rao and Syed Anwar, were arrested.
Though Shaji was taken into custody immediately after the accident, he was let off by Anna Square Traffic Investigation Inspector Ravichandran, despite strict orders against his release. Mr Ravichandran was since placed under suspension for letting off Shaji which enabled him to flee the country.