Police on Wednesday registered a case against three unidentified persons in connection with the murder of BJP functionary K Balachandar in Chennai on Tuesday night
Police said they found three men, on a motorbike, chased and attacked Balachandar on Tuesday night. The assailants fled on the bike. At the time of the attack, a personal security officer (PSO) assigned to Balachandar had gone to a nearby shop for tea.
“Three persons have been booked for murder. We had given Balachandar two PSOs based on court orders,” Greater Chennai City police commissioner Shankar Jiwal told HT. “He was often going away without the PSO, we are told but the PSO should have reported that to us. He didn’t and that’s wrong.”
A police officer at the Chintadaripet police station in Chennai where the case is registered said that the deceased was given a PSO as he feared a threat to his life. “He had belonged to a Hindu outfit earlier and due to his speeches against Muslims, he had sought protection from a court.”
However, his family attributed the murder to personal enmity. Balachandar’s father Viswanathan, told reporters there was a tussle between his son with a few people over a cloth shop. “My son questioned irregularities going on there and he filed a police complaint. Then, there was a clash between my son and them. Police should arrest them quickly,” he said.
Balachandar, 30, was the Chennai Central SC/ST wing president of the BJP. He is said to have been murdered around 7.50pm on Tuesday. A posse of policemen are deployed in the Chintadaripet locality.
The murder has shocked the city which comes close on the heels of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Chennai on May 26 when he will launch projects for Tamil Nadu. Chennai police have beefed up security for his visit with more than 22,000 police officers on the job. A five-layer security arrangement has been made and drones have been prohibited.
The BJP has criticised the ruling DMK for deteriorating law and order situation. “Ever since the DMK came to power in Tamil Nadu, the law and order has collapsed,” tweeted BJP national general secretary CT Ravi.
When reporters questioned the city police commissioner on the increasing murders, he said that some statistics being thrown around were unverified. “It’s is wrong news that there have been 18 murders in 24 days in Chennai. There have been 10 murders this month and these account for crimes due to previous enimity and family enimity,” Jiwal told reporters. “Compared to last year, there is a 25% reduction in murder cases.”