Third president of Urapakkam panchayat to be murdered since 2001

Urapakkam panchayat president U.K. Perumal, a member of the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), was brutally hacked to death by an armed gang near Guduvanchery on Tuesday.

He is the third president of the panchayat to be murdered since 2001.

On Tuesday afternoon, after distributing free mixies and grinders, the 62-year-old was having lunch in a grove at Vallanchery behind the Guduvanchery bus terminus, along with Palani, a ward member of the panchayat, Venkatakrishnan, father of a panchayat clerk, and a driver, Rajesh.

Around 4 p.m., four men walked into the grove, pulled out knives and attacked the group. “Perumal died on the spot. He was the primary target. We have obtained certain leads,” said C. Vijaya Kumar, superintendent of police, Kancheepuram district.

While Palani suffered injuries on the head, the other two sustained minor injuries. All three men, undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Kattankulathur, are out of danger.

Murders of elected representatives continue unabated in Chengalpattu and Sriperumbudur police sub-divisions. Conflict over real estate deals, subsequent money transactions and the race to usurp government poramboke lands are the motives in most cases, say police officials.

In Urapakkam panchayat, in March 2001, G. Menaka, the then president, was hacked to death in the panchayat office.

Subsequently, Mr. Perumal’s wife, Saroja, was the panchayat president between 2001 and 2006.

G.N.R. Kumar of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, who became president in 2006, was hacked to death in 2010. Mr. Perumal was elected as president in the by-elections the same year and was elected as president again in the 2011 local body polls, said police officials.

Two months ago, M. Sampath, a former president of Perumattunallur panchayat, was murdered.

Earlier, K. Shankar president of Sethupattu panchayat, was murdered in February 2013 and Mannivakkam president R. Purushothaman was killed in 2012.

More In: Chennai | News