Auto Shankar Alias Gowri Shankar - Criminal "If he were alive today, he would have been a minister"

Auto Shankar Alias Gowri Shankar - Criminal "If he were alive today, he would have been a minister"

Gauri Shankar, also known by his nickname Auto Shankar, was an auto-driver who was charged with 6 brutal murders and was given the death penalty in 1995 at the age of 41. He was found guilty of the crimes he committed for 2 years from 1988 to 1989.

His trials were conducted in Chennai's Chengalpattu court session, and him along with two accomplices, namely Eldin and Shivaji, were sentenced to death on May 31, 1991.


Shankar was born on January 21, 1954, in Kangeyanallur, which lies in Vellore district in Tamil Nadu. As per his narration, he took habits like smoking and taking drugs during his school days itself. An auto driver. A dreaded murderer. A conspirator. Womanizer.

Hoocher along with a doting husband and father and a nice guy-next-door are some adjectives that can be attributed to him. On a beautiful summer day in Madras in 1988, when Shankar's photo emerged into the newspaper as a ruthless murderer, the initial reaction of the public was of fear and rage, and shock and surprise, especially in Periyar Nagar, where Shankar lived.

As told by one of his neighbours, he saw him as a nice and helping man for the last 4 years. He was well respected in his locality. Shankar's life can be introspective by viewing it in 2 phases. One before 1974 when he was Gowri Shankar and after 1974 when he became the criminal Auto Shankar. Shankar arrived in Madras in 1974. There he got into a quarrel with a small shopkeeper when the same refused to give credit for the rice to feed his hungry family.

Not only he declined, but he along with a policeman which he called thrashed Shankar. After being beaten up and humiliated by the policeman, Shankar decided to take revenge and did that by bashing up the grocer in return as well as ransacking his shop.

The grocer out of fear didn't go for police again, and this is where Shankar saw his potential and got the courage to do what he did later. In his childhood as narrated by him, he witnessed tragic incidents like his father eloping with a woman with the whole wealth his family had, despite having two wives. Shankar was the son of his second wife.

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And then her mother eloped with a person whom she worked for. These incidents were brought in front by him to gain some sympathy when the noose around his neck but was not given any worth as they didn't justify his inhumane murders.