BJP leader killed in southern Tamil Nadu


Tenkasi (Tamil Nadu) : A senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader from Tamil Nadu was found hacked to death here, leading to tension in this volatile area with party workers raising slogans against minorities at his funeral Tuesday.

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Rajapandi was killed Monday. BJP workers allege that the 53-year-old was killed in a lonely stretch of a state highway near Tenkasi, about 650 km from the state capital Chennai. A gang belonging to an Islamic denomination was involved, they claim.

He died on the spot.

Police sources said the crime scene indicated that the victim had either tried to save himself by fleeing or his body had been dragged to a distance of approximately 25 feet, suggesting that several persons were involved in the crime.

Murdered on his birthday, Rajapandi was a state general council member of the BJP and headed its traders’ wing.

The murder comes in the wake of the two blasts on Jan 24 at a bus stand near the RSS office here. The police are yet to make headway in investigations into the blasts. Experts have indicated that the blasts could have been triggered by remote control because electricity to the area had been cut off prior to the event.

Tenkasi witnessed a mini-bloodbath in August last year when Hindu Front leader Kumarapandian and six others were killed.

Hindu Front leader Rama Gopalan said Saturday that the region was slowly morphing into a “mini-Kashmir”.

Meenakshipuram, a Hindu Dalit village that converted to Islam en masse in 1980, is about 13 km from Tenkasi.