6 arrested after BJP member hacked to death in TN’s Tirunelveli; DMK trying to protect accused, says Annamalai

6 arrested after BJP member hacked to death in TN’s Tirunelveli; DMK trying to protect accused, says Annamalai

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BJP MLA Nainar Nagendhiran, who met the deceased’s family members and BJP cadres who protested on Thursday, alleged that the police handled them roughly, particularly women.

Six people were arrested after a BJP functionary was hacked to death by a gang of unknown assailants in Tamil Nadu’s Tirunelveli district Wednesday. State BJP chief K Annamalai, meanwhile, alleged that the ruling DMK was trying to shield one of the main accused in the case.

The police identified the deceased as realtor Jegan Pandian, who was serving as the party’s district youth-wing general secretary. A senior official attached to Palayamkottai police noted that Pandian was a serial offender and was facing several criminal cases in police stations in Tirunelveli and Thoothukudi.

“So far six have been arrested, four were detained today (Friday). One of the main accused Prabhu is still absconding and we have formed teams to nab him at the earliest. The incident occurred due to previous enmity, the two gangs had been having enmity since 2002 and on Wednesday night, they had attacked Jegan. All the accused belong to Tirunelveli and nearby towns,” the official said.

According to officers, on Wednesday night Pandian was on his way home when bike-borne assailants hacked him to death at Moolikulam near Palayamkottai before fleeing. Hearing his screams, friends and relatives rushed to the spot and took him to a nearby hospital where he was declared dead. The police arrived soon after.

On Thursday, the deceased’s relatives and BJP cadres resorted to road blockade, demanding the arrest of the perpetrators and refused to receive the body. As the protest led to traffic congestion on the main road, the police arrested some of the agitators. After negotiations with the police, the crowd was dispersed.

BJP MLA Nainar Nagendhiran who met the protesters on Thursday alleged that the police handled the protestors roughly, particularly women, pulling their hair and stomping on them. “It’s saddening to see the police act brutally towards the protesters; it’s a shame. I don’t know how they are going to protect the law. A case should be filed against the police first, we condemn their act. We are losing trust in the police,” he said.

Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu BJP president K Annamalai took to X (formerly Twitter) and condemned the incident. He said he learnt that one Mulikulam Prabhu, a close associate of a DMK leader in the area, has been named in the FIR and is currently absconding and the ruling government is taking efforts to save him. He urged the cops to arrest all the accused involved in the murder and initiate stringent action against them. According to sources, the accused, Prabhu, is the husband of a DMK councillor in the town.

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