Coimbatore: An outspoken rationalist was brutally hacked to death by an unidentified gang in Ukkakadam here on Thursday night, sending shockwaves across the textile city.
Police said on Friday, H Farooq, 31, an iron scrap merchant from Bilal Estate in South Ukkadam and a member of Dravidar Viduthalai Kazhagam (DVK), a breakaway group of the Dravidar Kazhagam (DK), was very vocal in his rationalistic thoughts.
On Thursday, around 11 pm, Farooq had left his house on receiving a phone call in his moped. While nearing the sewage treatment plant near Ukkadam bypass road, the assailants intercepted him in two-wheelers and auto. Sensing trouble Farooq had tried to escape by turning away his moped, but the gangsters hacked him with sickle and knives.
The body of the victim bore multiple stabs and cuts inflicted by the assailants. On hearing the loud noise, the local residents rushed out of their houses and found the victim lying dead in a pool of blood. However, the assailants managed to flee away. Following this the deputy commissioner of police Saravanan inspected the spot and held enquiries.
Police have collected video grabs of CCTV cameras installed in commercial outlets on the stretch to identify the culprits. Police traced the last call to have been made from a SIM obtained by furnishing a fake address in Vellore. Cops are also analyzing the call log in the mobile of Farooq.
Tension prevailed for a short while at the Coimbatore Medical College and Hospital (CMCH), where a post-mortem was performed on the deceased as members of DVK refused to receive his body demanding that the assailants be arrested. After police promised speedy and impartial action, the relatives took the body for doing the last rites.
As a large number of DVK cadres gathered at the hospital, a heavy posse of police was deployed at the premises to prevent any untoward incidents. Police who are privy to the investigation said that they are probing on certain leads on the brutal murder.
“We are looking into multiple angles and it is yet to be known if he was executed by communal groups, business rivalry or for personal reasons. One of his controversial religious posts shared in FB attracted criticisms. He was also detained recently under Goondas Act in connection with the violence that arose following the murder of Hindu Munnani leader Sasikumar,” said a police official. Meanwhile, four special teams have been formed to nab the offenders and further investigations are on.