The police suspect resentment against his fast rise in the party hierarchy may have led to the attack

A senior leader of the Indian Republican Party (IRP) was attacked by a six-member gang near his house in Moolakadai, Kodungaiyur, on Friday.

He is battling for life at Apollo Hospitals, Nandanam. The police suspect internal rivalry in the party may have led to the assault.

V.N. Palayam (39), Chennai district secretary of IRP, was returning home on his two-wheeler after dropping his daughter to school, around 8.30 a.m., when he was intercepted by the gang. Six persons on three motorcycles attacked him with sickles and fled. Hearing Palayam’s cries, residents rushed to help and took him to Government Stanley Hospital.

Palayam sustained serious injuries on his head, hands and legs. Later in the day, when his condition deteriorated, he was shifted to Apollo Hospitals. He is in intensive care, the police said.

Meanwhile, a special team led by additional deputy commissioner of police (Pulianthope), S. Jayakumar, inspected the crime scene and made inquiries.

“A case under section 307 of the Indian Penal Code for attempt to murder has been filed by the Kodungaiyur police,” said DCP Jayakumar.

Palayam, a resident of First Street, M.M.Colony, in Moolakadai, has been a well-known sub-contractor, handling logistics at the goods shed in Tondiarpet station, for nearly two decades.

The police, however, ruled out business rivalry as the motive behind the attack. They suspect personal enmity or resentment against his fast rise in the political party’s hierarchy.

“The party’s executive meeting to decide on candidates for postings in the party is scheduled for Sunday. Rival groups have been known to be unhappy with Palayam’s prominence and success in the party.

They may have wished to eliminate him as he was seeking a senior posting. Further investigation is on,” said a police officer.

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