In what appears to be a gangland slaying, a 45-year-old functionary of the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, I. Mayil Murugan, was targeted by an armed gang on the C.M.R. Road in Munichalai on Wednesday morning.

The killing is suspected to be in retaliation to Monday’s murder of ‘Pambu’ Pandi, brother-in-law of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam functionary V.K. Gurusamy, on East Marret Street.

Mayil Murugan was the maternal uncle of Karthik, one of the three accused in the Pandi murder case who surrendered before a Dindigul court on Tuesday.

The police said Murugan, a member of Ward 72 unit of the AIADMK, ran finance and real estate businesses, and had his office on B.B. Road, off the C.M.R. Road. Murugan customarily attended his office early in the morning.

Murugan was sitting in the vicinity of a neighbourhood tea shop when the gang arrived in an autorickshaw. He made a bid to flee towards the C.M.R. Road but he was pursued and attacked with machetes. He was left lying in a pool of blood by the roadside. Police arrived at the spot and a sniffer dog was pressed into service.

The police said the rival gang intended to target a family member of Karthik’s, and chose his uncle.

The Teppakulam police registered a case against V.K. Gurusamy, his son Mani and six others, charging them with rioting, wrongful restraint, murder and abetment. Gurusamy was picked up for questioning late in the night.

Commissioner of Police Sanjay Mathur has formed special teams to round up suspects in both murder cases.

AIADMK councillor and former Corporation zonal chairperson M. Rajapandian, and his three sons, are prime suspects in the murder of Pandi, killed in retaliation for the 2003 murder of Rajapandian’s nephew Chinna Munusu.

More In: Madurai