The main accused Krishnan, husband of panchayat president Devi, and his associates Kannan and Kumar did this mainly to create fear for themselves among the villagers in Siruvanoor.
The village is in Virudhunagar district around 500 km from here.
The reported provocation for the attack was that Karthik, a construction worker, was sitting crosslegged and did not stand up on seeing Krishnan.
An argument ensued between Krishnan and Karthik.
On Tuesday night the three pulled Karthik out of a bus in which he was going to Madurai and chopped off his hand.