Initial reports suggest that the crime was carried out at the behest of Thally CPI MLA Ramachandran and his brother Varadarjan with the reason considered as past enmity. A case has already been registered against the brothers as well as five others.
In spite of the private enmity angle being probed, there are rumours floating that there is a political rivalry that could have prompted the cold-blooded murder. Palani was the Organising secretary (PDK) of the Krishnagiri district.
Palani was working in his farm in Balepuram along with his son Vanchinathan when a group chased and shot him. In the melee, the victim fell on the floor; the assailants then cornered him and beheaded him using a sharp weapon. His son fled from the crime scene.