Chennai police deny intelligence failure in BSP chief Armstrong's murder

This was primarily because Armstrong was no longer a history-sheeter and had been acquitted in the seven pending cases against him, Rathore said.
The mortal remains of Bahujan samaj party TN president Armstrong being taken in  procession by his followers from RGGGH mortuary to his residence.
The mortal remains of Bahujan samaj party TN president Armstrong being taken in procession by his followers from RGGGH mortuary to his residence.(Photo | P Jawahar, EPS)

CHENNAI: Dismissing allegations of an intelligence failure, Greater Chennai Police commissioner Sandeep Rai Rathore on Saturday said there was no information available regarding any threats to K Armstrong, the Tamil Nadu BSP president who was murdered by a six-member gang on Friday evening. This was primarily because Armstrong was no longer a history-sheeter and had been acquitted in the seven pending cases against him, Rathore said.

Addressing the press, Rathore said since Armstrong was the state president of a national party, the intelligence section kept a watch, but no information about a threat to his life was received.

The mortal remains of Bahujan samaj party TN president Armstrong being taken in  procession by his followers from RGGGH mortuary to his residence.
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The mortal remains of Bahujan samaj party TN president Armstrong being taken in  procession by his followers from RGGGH mortuary to his residence.
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Chennai police held eight suspects in connection with the case four hours after the murder. The accused were identified as Ponnai Balu, S Thirumalai, K Manivannan, K Thiruvenkadam, D Ramu, J Santhosh, G Arul, and D Selvaraj, police said, adding, five of them were history-sheeters. Balu is the brother of slain history-sheeter ‘Arcot’ Suresh who was murdered in August 2023. Rathore said they are probing the murder as a retaliation killing, but declined to divulge into further details, citing ongoing investigation. He said the chances of the murder being a political killing were “very less”, though they are investigating the political rivals Armstrong had made.

Rathore did not give any specific answer when asked if the police were tracking Balu and others after Suresh’s murder to prevent the possibility of a revenge killing. He also denied rumours that the accused had surrendered to the police and gave credit for the arrest to the intelligence section.

The mortal remains of Bahujan samaj party TN president Armstrong being taken in  procession by his followers from RGGGH mortuary to his residence.
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