Tension gripped Tirubhuvanam near the temple town of Kumbakonam on Wednesday (6 February) following the murder of a former PMK town secretary Ramalingam in front of his son, The New Indian Express reported.
According to police sources, Ramalingam’s murder is linked to his recent attempt to resist proselytisation by members of an Islamic group in a Hindu Dalit dominated neighbourhood.
Over 250 police cops are currently deployed to prevent any untoward incident as members of various parties, including PMK, BJP, Hindu activists and the relatives of the deceased staged a protest demanding immediate arrest of the murderers. Hindu outfits staged roadblocks demanding police arrest the murderers immediately. Police pacified the protestors and promised swift action.
Four men, whose identities are yet to disclosed, have been booked as accused in the case.
48-year-old Ramalingam from Thoondil Vinayagampettai at Tirubhuvanam was a catering contractor and had been engaged in the business of renting out utensils and shamiana tents for weddings. His establishment was located at Tirubhuvanam.
Formerly a town secretary of the PMK, he has not been involved in politics at least for the last five years.
On Tuesday (Feb 7) night, he was reportedly going home from Chettimandapam, in his mini-load van, accompanied by his 17-year-old son.
When the vehicle was passing through a locality dominated by Muslim community in Tirubhuvanam, it was blocked by a car. A gang of four came out of the car and attacked Ramalingam’s hands with sharp weapons before speeding off in the car.
Ramalingam, who was grievously injured and bleeding profusely, was rushed to the Kumbakonam government hospital. He was reportedly referred to Thanjavur Medical College Hospital where he was declared brought dead.
Based on a complaint from his son, the Tiruvidaimarudur police registered a case of murder and launched an investigation.
According to police sources, on Tuesday morning, Ramalingam went to Packiyanathan Thoppu, a Hindu Dalit habitation, to mobilise some workers for a function for which his catering firm had undertaken a contract.
According to the police, it is a common practice that well organised groups of Muslims in the town often foray in to the localities dominated by the people from their community and preach about the religious practices and the greatness of their god Allah. On Tuesday, the group however came preaching to Packiyanathan Thoppu which has a large number of residents belonging to the Dalit community.
Ramalingam, who was coincidentally present at at that locality, noticed a group of men including one Rasudeen, said to be belonging to the radical Islamic organisation Popular Front of India (PFI) , proselytising.
Ramalingam entered into an argument with them. Later they dispersed. When they were returning from work, a group of friends of Rasudeen waylaid and attacked them, the son has alleged in his complaint.
The body of Ramalingam was brought to his house after post-mortem in Thanjavur.
A video clip, that has gone viral on social media, shows Ramalingam resisting the proselytising efforts of a Muslim man at Packiyanathan Thoppu. In the video, Ramalingam is pointing out how it is impossible for Hindu community members to buy any land in Muslim dominated areas. He also pointed out how Hindus were willing to participate in Muslim events but faced lack of reciprocity. He also requested the Muslim activists to refrain from aggressive preaching in Hindu locality.
PMK party founder S Ramadoss has condemned the murder of Ramalingam for opposing religious conversions. He said those involved in the murder should be arrested and severely punished. PMK has urged the State and Central governments to pay Rs 1 crore as compensation to the family of one Ramalingam.
Karuppu Muruganandam, the Tamil Nadu BJP general secretary, visited and consoled the family members.