On Wednesday morning, Chennai woke to the news that another advocate had been murdered. This is the fourth murder of a lawyer in the last month.
Thi Ravi, (45), a resident of Vyasarpadi was on his bike near Ashok Pillar when seven men hacked him to death. Investigations into his murder have begun, but the reasons for his murder are not immediately known. He was an advocate at the Madras High Court.
On June 16, Akhilanath, (34), another lawyer was also murdered near his house in Puzhal. He was attacked by six armed men on three motorcycles. He died on the spot. He was practicing at the Judicial Magistrate Court in Ponneri.
In that case, the police had said that Akhilan was involved in some land disputes and had also been named as an accused in the murder of a man called Sivaraj. Police also suspected that the lawyer had been murdered in revenge for the earlier killing. They suspect that Sivarajâ€™s brother-in-law was involved in the murder.
On June 5, an advocate C Murugan was found hacked to death near his house in Kodambakkam. Later his wife, M Loheshini was arrested for suspected involvement in the crime. The police claimed that his wife had hired killers to murder her husband. Reportedly, his wife was having an extra marital affair and Murugan was killed because he was a hindrance.
Earlier, a lawyer working in Bangalore was murdered in Villivakkam on April 13. The police had suspected that he might have been killed in relation to a case that he was working on. He hailed from Vyasarpadi in Chennai.
â€śOnly the reason for the murder of one lawyer is known. But in the other three cases the reason is not known. We have asked the police for proper investigation into these cases,â€ť said S Prabhakaran, a senior lawyer and member of the Bar Council of India.
The murky dealings between some lawyers and criminal gangs in Tamil Nadu have been in the spotlight for a long time now. There have been instances when lawyers belonging to rival groups have attacked or killed each other. In many instances, lawyers have been accused of conniving with criminal elements and targeting people.
A report by The News Minute in November 2015, had cited a document submitted by the police department to the TN Bar Council claiming that from 2011 to 2015, 47 major cases had been filed against 107 lawyers in just the South Zone of Chennai City. The charges laid against them included land grab, extortion, intimidation, physical assault and murder.
But things seem to be spiraling out of control with four murders already happening this year.