The youngster and another accomplice have since been arrested and are in remand for now, while a third has absconded

Pattukottai, Thanjavur young man with sickle threatens pharmacy | CCTV screengrab
news Crime Wednesday, October 06, 2021 - 19:37

A young man, brandishing an aruvaal (machete), threatened a pharmacy staff on October 4, Monday night in Thanjavur district after they reportedly refused to sell him sleeping pills without prescription. The incident took place in Pattukottai at a pharmacy attached to a private hospital on Chinnaiya Street and was recorded on the store’s CCTV camera. The youngster is seen going behind the counter and taking something off the shelf and leaving. The youngster and another accomplice have since been arrested and are in remand for now, while a third has absconded. Police say both the aruvaal and the pills have been recovered now. The accused seem to be 20 or 21 years old.

DSP Sengamalakannan told TNM that the two arrested youngsters first approached the pharmacy for the sleeping pills with the intention of purchasing them. When the staff realized that they did not have a prescription they apparently refused to sell the pills. It seems that the youngsters tried arguing for half an hour. From the available CCTV footage, one of them is seen standing outside the store and removing the aruvaal tucked into his waistband before entering the shop. Cameras inside the shop show the pharmacy staff running for cover in alarm as the young man, still brandishing the aruvaal, walked behind the counter and picked up something from one of the shelves. Both youngsters, who were wearing face marks, were caught on camera. Further, as the arvuaal-wielding boy exited the store, staff and visitors to the hospital are seen rushing out of the building. Though one of them nearly collided with a passerby, no one was hurt.

According to the DSP, a doctor from the hospital called him for help after which he and his driver arrived at the scene. The police drove around the area, and spotted one of the young men walking down a street (whom they apparently identified from the clothes he was wearing in the footage) and took him into custody, shortly after, the second youngster was also arrested from his home.

The police deny that the youngsters had any previous drug habit though it seems unclear why they wanted the sleeping pills. The two arrested are to remain in custody until October 18.  A case has been registered under sections 452, 294 (b), 392, 506 (11) of the Indian Penal Code, read with 25 (1) (A) and 21 of the Indian Arms Act.