A 75-year-old man named Govindarajan died on Sunday after he was assaulted by a local truck driver at Orathanadu in Thanjavur district. According to the police, the victim Govindarajan got into a verbal fight with the suspect Gopinath at around 3pm on Sunday. This then escalated into physical assault where Gopinath, who is a truck driver, beat up the elderly man. Following this Govindarajan went back home and even bought dinner for himself.
While multiple media reports have stated that the attacker, a man named Gopinath, is a DMK-Congress alliance supporter, the district police has denied this. Ilango, a district secretary of the BJP in Thanjavur told TNM that though the party was not sure of the antecedents of the attacker, they had been told by eye witnesses that the brawl was over politics and Govindarajan's support for Modi.
"He died at around 9 pm in the night and not immediately after the attack. We have arrested Gopinath over suspicion of his role in the death," says Orthanadu DSP Kamaraj. "Govindarajan was intellectually disabled and he had a habit of talking loudly. Gopinath got agitated and beat him up. Govindarajan wore different pictures of leaders and walked around. Both of them are not affiliated to any party particularly," he added.
When TNM contacted the local BJP leaders, they confirmed that for the last six months Govindarajan has ardently been supporting the party. They also denied reports that Govindarajan was mentally unwell.
"He has been a keen BJP support from even before the election was announced. He would wear the Prime Minister's photo around his neck and campaign. He was not mentally affected. If he was not a BJP supporter, why would he travel to these rallies," asked Ilango.
"He used to be a government employee and was suspended. He had some problems with his family and has been kept away for some time now. The DK says the assaulter is not from their party. They claim he was just paid sometimes to come hold flags at the rallies," he adds.