Two persons were killed by an armed gang at Mylapore late on Thursday night.

According to police sources, the gang first murdered Billa Suresh (33) in his house at Slaterpuram and then attacked Viji alias Vijayakumar (36) living on Ekambaram Pillai Street nearby.

The latter died hours after admission to the Government General Hospital. Previous enmity is suspected to be the motive behind the killings.

Police have arrested six persons, including a woman, in connection with the murders.

The gang knocked on the door of Suresh's house around 11.45 p.m. When there was no response, some of the accused scaled a wall and forced their way in through the asbestos roof. They hacked Suresh indiscriminately, killing him on the spot.

The accused then damaged some autorickshaws parked in the area and went to Viji's house located on the fourth floor of a building. They broke open the door and found him hiding in the bathroom. The suspects inflicted multiple injuries on Viji. Neighbours claimed that the gang burst crackers before escaping. The victim, who suffered grievous injuries, died in the hospital.

Both murders took place in front of the victims' family members. “They left my brother bleeding,” said Suresh's sister as she cradled one of his young children. Suresh earned a living by painting cars and was a Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi cadre.

P. Indira, Viji's sister, said a group of men had broken into his housing board flat around midnight. “He locked himself in the bathroom. But the door is made of tin and the men ripped it open and slashed him on his face and arms,” she said.

Viji was a Congress party worker. He could not take up jobs as his hands were hurt in a scuffle in 1999, his neighbours said.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Mylapore) K. Periaiah said a series of petty issues had resulted in an ego clash that led to the murders. Suresh and Viji had supported a friend, who was in love with a woman and this was objected to by the rival group that hacked them to death, he said.

Six persons — Anandan, Vinod, Rajesh, Karthikeyan, Chandra and Renuka — were arrested by the police. Special teams were formed to apprehend a few others allegedly involved in the murders, police sources added.

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