Tuticorin, Apr 8: Pasupathi Pandian, a Dalit leader, heading the Devendra Kula Youth Federation, escaped with minor injuries while his wife was hacked to death, when an armed gang attacked them, using country bombs and sickles near here.
Police said the victims, along with two of their ''escorts'' were proceeding from Dindigul in a car to Tuticorin in connection with a court case yesterday, when the armed gang intercepted their car, using a truck, at Eppothum Vendran near Ettayapuram and attacked.
Even before Mr Pandian and other occupants in the car could react, the gang members threw country bombs at the car. As the bombs failed to create the desired impact, though exploded, the gang members, armed with sharp edged weapons like sickles and swords, got down from the truck and attacked Mr Pandian and others indiscriminately.
While Ms Jesintha Pandian died on the spot, Pandian jumped out from the car and ran for safety to a nearby police station, police said.
Muniasamy and Zakhir Hussain, who were travelling with the Pandians to provide them security, suffered serious injuries, when they retaliated. They were admitted to the Tuticorin Government Hospital.
After attacking the victims, the gang members, leaving behind the truck, escaped in another vehicle, which arrived at the scene, apparently as per the well drawn out plan. District Police Supterintendent Magesh Kumar Agarwal and other senior officials visited the spot and launched an investigation.
Police said previous enmity could be the reason for the attack.
Pasupathi Pandian, who is presently heading the Marutham Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam, was involved in a number of criminal cases, they said.
A native of Tuticorin district, Mr Pandian, himself a criminal, was presently residing in Dindigul. He frequently visited Tuticorin in connection with court cases, police added.