A fact-finding team from Evidence, a Madurai based NGO, has called out discrepancies in the police report on the murder of the Scheduled Caste president of Tharvendiram panchayat in Thally here.
The victim, Narasimhamoorthy, was found murdered near P.P.Palayam village of Tharvendiram panchayat on August 2. Eleven persons, including the panchayat secretary and the sons of the panchayat vice-president, surrendered soon after.
The police had claimed that the murder was a result of a conflict over monetary transactions. The sons of the panchayat vice-president, Jakkamma, had sold a parcel of land in 2012 to AVS quarries and the company had paid up for the transaction. However, years after the transaction, the accused had asked Narasimhamoorthy to intervene and ask for higher payment. According to the police, Narasimhamoorthy had collected the money, but had not paid them.
However, the Evidence report has disputed the police version of the motive for the murder.
The fact-finding team had interviewed the AVS quarries and the panchayt residents and both have rubbished the police version.
According to the AVS representative, there was no sense to asking for higher payments years after the sale. Besides, Narasimhamoorthy was not party to any transaction.
Kathir, Director of Evidence, told The Hindu if it was a private monetary dispute between the president and the vice president, where was the need for the panchayat secretary to intervene in the murder.
According to the report, in the two years since his election in 2019, Narasimhamoorthy had built tar roads, school compounds, green houses, drains, overhead tanks and laid drinking water lines, and in the process had ensured transparency in the panchayat administration. He had set up a Whatsapp group to table incomes and revenues along with receipts to the group members.
The motive was to finish off an honest panchayat president, whose workings sought to bring transparency into the functioning of the panchayat administration, says the report.
Evidence has demanded invocation of Sections under SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act that obstructs a panchayat president from performing his duties; demanded a CB-CID inquiry; and a compensation of ₹ 25 lakh as mandated under the Act to the family of the victim, along with a government job for the spouse of Narasimhamoorthy.