JaganPandian (32) , belonged to the Devendra Kula Velalar community and was from Moolikulam near the Nellai Palaymnkottai area. Jagan was into the real estate business and was active in politics and mobilised a huge crowd during BJP chief Annamalai’s yatra when it passed through this area recently.
According to local sources who spoke to Organiser over the phone, Jagan was with John Pandian, who led the Tamilaga Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam- TMMK party. It is an ally of BJP now.
Speaking on the condition of anonymity, one of the locals said, “Jagan joined BJP and he was made its district youth general secretary and was very active. A case was lodged against him in the road accident. During the local body elections, history sheeters, rowdy elements fielded their wives to show their political muscle power. In Tirunelveli there are 8 to 9 paid killing gangs (supari gangs). One of them is led by Prabhu, who put up his wife as candidate in ward ten. Following his threats, political parties including AIADMK, withdrew their candidates. But BJP and DMK fielded their candidates. Jagan worked hard for BJP candidate. But Prabhu’s wife won and became chairman later with DMK’s support.
Jagan and Prabhu are from the same village. The defeat in the elections soured their relations. Murder for gain, attempt to murder, holding kangaroo court, kidnapping, extortion cases are pending against Prabhu. He is right hand for MLA Abdul wahaf. Prabhu is also involved in collecting illegal liquor bar mamools on behalf of Senthil Balaji ( now in judicial custody after ED’s arrest).
There have been frequent clashes between Jagan and Prabhu over installing flex banners and other issues. When a banner put up by the DMK was removed by the villagers, Prabhu suspected Jagan was behind them. Yesterday both were called to the police station and they were advised to bury their hatchet. On the basis of intelligence inputs, police warned them not to do anything. Jagan , who did not take it seriously, was waiting in front of his house last night. Six – member- gang came on their bikes and surrounded him. They hacked him to death and left him in a pool of blood. After hearing Jagan’s screams, the people who were in the house came out and found Jagan was fighting for life. They informed the police.”
Police have now arrested five of them. Jagan’s relatives, BJP and villagers protested demanding Prabhu be named as A1 and not A2 and called for his immediate arrest under the Goondas Act. A local leader who does not want to be identified said, “schedule caste community ( Devendra Kula and Paraiyar caste) people who were active like Jagan were being targeted and murdered. There is a clear pattern. Jagan was getting prominence in the area and becoming a leader. There have been a conspiracy behind these murders and we suspect the hand of the ruling DMK. In 1995 , there were communal clashes created by the DMK. They use rowdies to psychological create fear panic among the masses only to force them to vote for DMK.”
The police, led by Deputy Commissioner, Anita, arrived at the protest spot, assured the culprits would be arrested and asked them to disperse.
Tamil Nadu state BJP Chief K Annamalai in a statement condemned the murder. He assured all help to his family to get justice and offered his condolences. He said “people who could not digest his political rising have killed him ruthlessly. The prime accused, Palayamkottai MLA Abudul Wahaf’s close aide Prabhu from Moolikulam , is absconding and the DMK with the help of police is trying to protect him. If the DMK thinks that it can save him from arrest, it will never happen. DMKs plan of crippling BJP’s growth by such intimidatory tactics will also not work. We will not keep our eyes closed and would launch protest to get justice for Jagan and thwart its diabolical designs.”
It is pertinent to note that during the past 40 days there have been 24 murders in Tirunelveli district. In 2017 , in all 69 murder cases were registered in 70 polices in Nellai district. This is the lowest number of murders reported in the district police limits since 2004.
People have been demanding an upright police officer from north Indian states should be posted to contain the worsening law and order situation. Otherwise it will see acommunal and caste clashes again what it had seen nearly a decade ago.