An AIADMK functionary was hacked to death in broad daylight here in Keezhvelur bazaar on Saturday. Saravana Kumar(30), deputy convenor of the party’s youth wing, had stepped out of his bike at a tea stall in the bazaar here, when he was intercepted by a four-member gang that hacked him down. The group had arrived on two bikes. According to eye witness accounts, the gang after delivering the first blow chased him through the market for over 100 meters, before he was killed. The incident occurred at around 11.30 a.m.

The broad daylight killing triggered tense moments here, and the AIADMK cadres and relatives of Saravana Kumar blocked the market road disrupting traffic for over two hours. The protesters briefly dispersed after police assurance that the killers would be arrested by Saturday evening. However, cadre returned and ransacked a shop. The police lathi charged and dispersed the mob. According to sources, property dispute is suspected to be the motive behind murder. Police force from Tiruvarur was deployed to support the Nagapattinam police .

This is the third such ‘revenge’ killing carried out in broad daylight here in the district indicating a serious failure of law and order under the district police administration. Saturday’s killing has taken the number of murders in the district to 17 in the last 12 months. Eight of the murder victims were women, with two of them raped and murdered, indicating a rise in crimes against women. The figures do not include the rape and suspected murder of a 12-year-old girl in Sirkazhi in February, and an honour killing of a 30-year-old woman in Vedaranyam. In July this year, four murders were carried out on a single day, which included the rape and murder of a mentally challenged girl in Keezhvelur.