Updated: May 25, 2022 1:04:38 pm
Tamil Nadu BJP’s minority wing leader was hacked to death by a gang in Chennai on Tuesday, according to the police. The deceased, identified as Balachander, 30, was the Chennai Central district secretary of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Scheduled Caste wing.
According to local reports, the incident happened around 7:30 pm in Chintadripet when Balachander was at a shop. The unidentified gang members attacked him before waylaying him and fled the spot.
Passersby informed the police who reached the area and took the injured Balachander to the nearby government hospital where he was declared dead on arrival by doctors. The area where the murder took place has been cordoned off and police personnel deployed as a forensic team reached the spot to collect evidence.
Tamil Nadu BJP president K Annamalai took to Twitter and said no one is safe in the state. He urged Chennai police to immediately arrest the people responsible for the murder.
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Members of the BJP staged a sit-in protest in front of the hospital where his body was kept for a post-mortem examination. Several Tamil Nadu BJP functionaries, including Vinoj P Selvam and Karu Nagarajan, visited the victim’s family and offered their solidarity.
Speaking to reporters, Nagarajan asked whether Chennai is the capital of Tamil Nadu or the capital of murder.
“Every day, there has been an incident like this taking place across the state. Is this the Dravidian model? Murder is taking place in front of the public view on the main road. What kind of safety does a common man have here? Balachander was a young, dynamic leader of the BJP,” he said. “He questioned the malpractices in the area. He lodged a complaint at the police station against a few people who collected mamool from shops including at his brother’s. If the police had acted on his complaint, this incident would never have taken place,” he also said.
The BJP leader added that all those responsible for the crime should be apprehended and given the highest punishment.
Chennai police commissioner Shankar Jiwal while addressing reporters on Tuesday brushed aside the reports that close to 18 murders have taken place in Chennai in the last 20 days and that the law and order situation is deteriorating. Jiwal also claimed there has been a 25 per cent reduction in murder cases.
“There have been a few incidents in the past few days. We are conducting an inquiry and if the officers are found at fault, due action would be initiated against them. Let the FIR come out, we will have further details on this,” he said.
The police have deputed seven special teams to carry out an investigation into the murder of the BJP functionary. They are also investigating other angles in connection with the murder. Sources in the BJP said the incident could have been due to a previous enmity and there have been issues in the victim’s family as well.
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