BSP TN chief hacked to death, Mayawati to meet family tomorrow

A lawyer by profession, Armstrong gained prominence after being elected to the Chennai Corporation Council in 2006

Armstrong was known as a strong advocate for dalit rights (photo: @BspArmstrong/X)
Armstrong was known as a strong advocate for dalit rights (photo: @BspArmstrong/X)

NH Digital

In a shocking incident, K. Armstrong, the Tamil Nadu chief of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), was brutally hacked to death by six bike-borne assailants near his home in Chennai on Friday, 5 July.

The police have detained eight individuals in connection with the attack.

BSP founder Mayawati expressed her outrage over the murder in a post on X, describing Armstrong as a strong advocate for Dalit rights and demanding justice. "The gruesome killing of K. Armstrong, Tamil Nadu state Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) president, outside his Chennai house is highly deplorable and condemnable. An advocate by profession, he was known as a strong Dalit voice in the state. The state govt. must punish the guilty," she stated.

Demanding 'strict/necessary action' against the culprits, Mayawati said she would meet the family of Armstrong in Chennai tomorrow,7 July.

Armstrong, a lawyer by profession, gained prominence after being elected to the Chennai Corporation Council in 2006 and for organising a massive rally in Chennai two years ago, which was attended by Mayawati.

According to Tamil Nadu police, the attack occurred while Armstrong was speaking to party members near his residence in the Sembium area. The assailants fled the scene immediately after the attack. Armstrong's family rushed him to a hospital, where he was declared dead on arrival.

Calling Armstrong his 'elder brother', BSP national coordinator and Mayawati's nephew Akash Anand said, "The brutal murder of Tamil Nadu BSP State President and my close friend K. Armstrong is shocking. He was a strong and powerful voice for the Dalit community in Tamil Nadu. For me, he was like an elder brother. I strongly condemn this cowardly act. In this time of sorrow, our condolences and prayers are with his family."

Former Congress president and leader of the opposition in Lok Sabha, Rahul Gandhi expressed his 'shock' over the brutal murder. Expressing his 'heartfelt condolences' Rahul Gandhi wrote on X, "Tamil Nadu Congress leaders are in constant touch with the Government of Tamil Nadu, and I am confident that the Government will ensure that the culprits are brought to justice expeditiously."

A senior police official indicated that the murder might be a revenge attack connected to the killing of gangster Arcot Suresh last year. "We are conducting an investigation. The murder seems to be linked to an earlier killing," an official said.

Chennai police officer Asra Garg stated, "Ten teams have been formed to identify the offenders. After interrogating these suspects, we hope to determine the motive behind the murder. Some sharp weapons were used in the attack."

The opposition has criticised the ruling DMK in Tamil Nadu, citing the killing as a sign of the state's deteriorating law and order situation. Leader of Opposition Edappadi Palaniswamy commented, "When the state chief of a national party is murdered, it reflects poorly on the state's law and order. There is no fear of law or the police."

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Published: 06 Jul 2024, 11:22 AM