A three-member gang killed a local BJP leader in broad daylight in the Paramakudi main bazaar on Tuesday.
Police said that K. Murugan (45), former BJP municipal councillor, was returning home for lunch when the gang hurled pipe bombs and hacked him to death.
The members escaped from the scene after committing the crime.
One of the bombs exploded, causing injuries in his hand. Superintendent of Police N.M. Mylvahanan, who rushed to the spot, told The Hindu that the motive behind the murder was yet to be ascertained. Mr. Mylvahanan said that the police recovered two live pipe bombs from the scene and defused them.
Tension gripped the area with traders and general public gathering in large numbers, protesting against the murder.