BSP TN state president K Armstrong hacked to death in Chennai by six-member gang

Two other men, who were near Armstrong, also sustained injuries and are under treatment.
BSP Tamil Nadu State president K Armstrong
File photo of BSP Tamil Nadu State president K Armstrong.(Photo | ANI)

CHENNAI: K Armstrong (52), the State president of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), was hacked to death by an unidentified six-member gang near Sembium here on Friday evening.

He was rushed to a private hospital on Greams Road where the doctors declared that he was brought dead. His body was then sent to Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital for a postmortem. At least five special teams have been formed by the Greater Chennai Police to trace and nab the suspects. Two other associates of Armstrong, who were near him, also sustained injuries and are under treatment.

According to the police, Armstrong, along with a few of his party cadres, was overseeing construction work of a building at Venugopal Street in Sembium at around 7 pm when the six-member gang came in two bikes and surrounded him. They allegedly hacked him with knives and machetes and fled, leaving Armstrong in a pool of blood. His partymen, who were nearby, rushed him to the private hospital where he was declared dead. The weapons were left behind at the scene of crime, said police.

Relatives and crowd seen mourning and protesting near the home at perumbur where Armstrong was hacked to death
Relatives and crowd seen mourning and protesting near the home at perumbur where Armstrong was hacked to deathExpress | P.Ravikumar

The Sembium police have registered a case of murder. The police are analysing CCTV footage from the scene of crime to identify the suspects. They are also checking Armstrong’s mobile phone records. Soon after the incident, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Pulianthope, I Eswaran and Assistant Commissioner of Police Praveen Kumar went to the spot and conducted inquiries.

An advocate, Armstrong was a prominent Ambedkarite voice in the city and remembered by many North Chennai residents as a political leader who educated and empowered several youngsters. Elected as a Chennai Corporation councillor in 2006, he unsuccessfully contested the 2011 assembly election from Kolathur. The 4,000 odd votes secured by him was slightly more than the winning margin secured by then deputy chief minister MK Stalin over Saidai Duraisamy. He had been BSP’s TN president for 17 years. There are also some cases against him.

Armstrong is survived by his wife and daughter Savitri Bai (named by BSP President Mayawati), who’s first birthday he celebrated recently. At the private hospital, a stream of supporters and well-wishers including movie director Pa Ranjith mourned his death.

Hundreds of supporters of Armstrong and party cadres staged a protest condemning the murder. Huge posse of police have been deployed in the locality to prevent any law and order situation. Many supporters had gathered at the private hospital and later at RGGGH.

Former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and BSP chief Mayawati expressed deep concern over the tragic killing of Mr. K. Armstrong, the Tamil Nadu state Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) president, outside his residence in Chennai. In her tweet, Mayawati described the incident as highly deplorable and condemnable. She described Armstrong as a strong Dalit voice in the state. Mayawati urged the state government to ensure swift and decisive action to bring the perpetrators to justice, emphasizing the need for accountability and protection of vulnerable communities.

Opposition leaders AIADMK general secretary Edappadi K Palaniswami, PMK president Anbumani Ramadoss and BJP state president K Annamalai condemned Armstrong’s murder. They criticised the “deteriorating law and order in the state” condemning chief minister MK Stalin. TMC president GK Vasan and MMK president Jawahirullah also condemned Armstrong’s murder.

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