Armstrong murder: Chennai police say it is premeditated, BSP contests it

The BSP and those closest to Armstrong do not believe that he was killed due to gang-related crimes and have called the eight arrested men “scapegoats”.
Armstrong murder: Chennai police say it is premeditated, BSP contests it
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The eight persons arrested for the brutal murder of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) Tamil Nadu president K Armstrong are connected to a late A+ history sheeter, police have claimed based on initial investigations. According to police, Armstrong was murdered by a man identified as Ponnai Balu (prime accused) and seven others, allegedly in retaliation for the killing of history sheeter Arcot Suresh. Ponnai, who is Suresh’s brother, had been planning the murder for a year, according to the police. 

Armstrong was hacked to death outside his Perambur home in North Chennai at 07:30 pm on July 5. Police now say that Armstrong was in the habit of visiting the construction site of his new home in the same neighbourhood. He was usually accompanied by 10 to 12 people, but on the day of his murder, only three or four people had been with him, police have further said. They also claim that the assailants may have watched Armstrong from a nearby restaurant where they possibly posed as food delivery workers so as to not be noticed. 

The BSP and those closest to Armstrong however do not believe that he was killed due to gang-related crimes and have called the eight arrested men “scapegoats”. Armstrong was a widely loved leader in North Chennai–a predominantly Dalit and working class part of the city–and was well-known across the state as an outspoken Bhuddhist Ambedkarite. He was also instrumental in the building of several Buddhist viharas in Tamil Nadu. Further, Armstrong believed in the ability of arts to bring in political change and was a strong supporter of Dalit-led anti-caste cultural movements such as film director Pa Ranjith’s Neelam.

The BSP has also expressed its distrust in the Tamil Nadu police and have demanded that Armstrong’s murder be investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for an impartial probe. 

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