A Hindu Munnani functionary was hacked to death by a four-member gang in Coimbatore, leading to tension in the district and neighbouring Tirupur even as a state-wide bandh called by the outfit turned violent here with a police jeep set on fire and three personnel sustaining burn injuries.
Sasikumar (36), district spokesperson of the organisation, was returning home in Subramaniam Palayam, on the outskirts, on a two-wheeler when the unidentified assailants chased him on motorcycles and attacked him with sickles late last night.
He was immediately taken to a private hospital, where he died, police said.
Hindu Munnani called for a state-wide bandh today to protest the killing of Sasikumar.
Tension prevailed in Coimbatore and Tirupur districts as the news about the murder spread.
About 500 Munnani workers gathered outside the Big Bazaar Street Police station after five activists were arrested this morning. They demanded their release and accused police of failing to nab the accused.
The situation, however, was brought under control by City Police Commissioner, A Amalraj, who assured the release of the arrested workers, after which the activists dispersed.
Meanwhile, a police head constable, Bala, was injured when two groups indulged in stone pelting at Kottaimedu in the city over closure of shops in the area. However, the crowd dispersed after a cane charge, police said.
As Sarikumar’s body, with 11 injuries, was being brought to his residence, some unidentified persons set on fire a police vehicle at Thudiyalur on Mettupalayam Road and also targeted media persons, covering the funeral procession.
Three police personnel sustained burns in the incident.
Fire and rescue personnel rushed to the spot to douse the flames.
The trouble started during the procession, as the supporters targeted shops on the road side and pelted stones.
Following reports of police vehicles being targeted, Amalraj and District Collector T N Hariharan rushed to the spot, police said. Amid reports of torching of cars, some persons allegedly indulged in arson and ransacked a few shops.
There were reports that some unidentified persons have hurled petrol bombs at three places in the city, police said.
However, with additional police force from nearby Tirupur, a strict vigil is being maintained to bring the situation under control, they said. .