MADURAI: P Krishnarajan, the 48-year-old panchayat president of Kunnathur, and A Munayasamy, his 40-year-old panchayat helper, were hacked to death on the outskirts of the village on Monday morning. In connection with the murder, Karuppayurani police detained panchayat clerk Paulpandi alias Veeranan and his relative Thirupathi, a former panchayat president. Both men belong to a caste Hindu community. While Krishnarajan is from a caste Hindu community, Munayasamy is from a Scheduled Caste community.
On Monday, the relatives of both the deceased refused to accept the bodies from the Government Rajaji Hospital, and demanded the arrest of the culprits.
However, police admitted that the motive behind the murders was still unclear.
According to a senior police officer, preliminary investigation revealed that Krishnarajan had attempted to recruit a person from a SC community for the panchayat clerk post. The post had been occupied by Paulpandi for a while now. Krishnarajan had obtained permission from the Collector in this regard, police said.
Police said both Paulpandi and Thirupathi were initially on good terms with Krishnarajan. However, things changed in recent times. Thirupathi had filed his nomination papers, along with Krishnarajan, for a panchayat ward member post in the rural local body elections, but withdrew his nomination later. Krishnarajan won the elections as an independent candidate and was later appointed as panchayat president from the AIADMK.
Superintendent of Police Sujit Kumar said the police had not ruled out any other angle, including different motives, for the double murder. The forensic experts and dog squad were pressed into action and a case has been registered under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 3(2)(v) of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.