Tamil Nadu police under fire for collapse of law and order after BSP chief Armstrong murder; 8 suspects detained

CM Stalin said that he ordered the police officers to conduct the murder case expeditiously and bring the culprits to justice as per the law.

BySouth First Desk

Published Jul 06, 2024 | 10:18 AM Updated Jul 06, 2024 | 1:00 PM

Tamil Nadu BSP president K Armstrong

As the Tamil Nadu government drew sharp criticism from various sectors for the failure of law order in the state, leading to the murder of Tamil Nadu BSP chief and Dalit leader K Armstrong, the Chennai police have detained eight suspects on the intervening night of Friday, 5 July and Saturday, 6 July.

Speaking to the media, Additional Commissioner, Chennai North, Asra Garg said, “In the murder case we have secured eight suspects so far. This is a preliminary investigation”

“Clear and more accurate picture will emerge once we are through with more investigation, with more facts and circumstances coming to light, we will share more details then.”

Speaking more on the investigation, he further added, “10 teams have been formed, we are on the job, while we are suspecting two three motives, After the interrogation of these suspects, we will be able to find the motive behind the murder.”

Further, he added, “The injuries show some sharp weapons have been used, as we receive the postmortem report, it will be clear.”

Armstrong was brutally hacked to death by a six-member gang on bikes near his house in Chennai at night on Friday.

While the BSP leader’s mortal remains have been shifted to Rajiv Gandhi Government Hospital for postmortem, BSP workers and supporters continued to protest outside the hospital demanding immediate arrests of the accused.

According to an NDTV report, police officials said this could be a revenge murder, linked to the killing of a gangster, Arcot Suresh, last year.

A senior police officer told NDTV, “We are conducting an investigation. The murder seems to be linked to an earlier killing.”

Arcot Suresh was hacked to death by a five-member gang in Chennai, on 18 August, 2023. He was involved in around 30 cases including murder cases.

Demand for CBI probe

However, supporters of the slain leader have questioned if they were the real culprits.

Supporters of the slain leader claimed his killing was “planned” and demanded a CBI probe into the death of the 52-year-old former Chennai Corporation Councillor.

Supporters of Armstrong staged a protest outside the hospital, demanding a CBI probe into the killing. A BSP functionary said it was a “planned murder” and claimed there was an “intelligence failure.” Therefore, the central agency should probe the case.

The continued protest by Armstrong’s supporters outside the hospital, located opposite the Chennai Central railway station, affected traffic movement on the busy Poonamalle High Road and they were later removed from there by the police.

Meanwhile, Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) founder and Lok Sabha member Thol Thirumavalavan claimed those who are under police custody presently in connection with the case had “surrendered” before them and that they were not the real culprits.

Praising Armstrong for his public work, he said the deceased leader was a “trusted” colleague of BSP supremo and former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati.

“His body will be kept for public homage at a private school in Perambur,” he told reporters after visiting the government hospital.

Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president K Selvaperunthagai also said the “real culprits” behind the murder should be brought to book.

Senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was trying to speak to the family of the victim, he added.

Also Read: Armstrong hacked to death in Chennai by a bike-borne gang

‘Conduct the case expeditiously’: CM Stalin

On Saturday, Chief Minister MK Stalin took to X, to express his condolences.

He further wrote, “The police arrested those involved in the murder overnight. I would like to convey my deepest condolences and condolences to all of Armstrong’s party, family, relatives and friends who are bereaved. I have ordered the police officers to conduct the case expeditiously and bring the culprits to justice as per the law.”

TVK leader, actor-politician Vijay also criticised the DMK government for the lack of law and order, expressing shock, he wrote, “The Tamil Nadu government should take necessary precautionary measures to prevent such heinous crimes from happening again. I request you to maintain law and order without compromise and ensure everyone’s safety.”

Hailing Armstrong as a “strong and powerful voice for the Dalit community in Tamil Nadu” BSP national coordinator Akash Anand wrote, “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.”

(Edited by Sumavarsha Kandula)


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