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Tamil Nadu rationslist murder: Third accused surrenders

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Three days after H Farook, a rationalist was hacked to death in Coimbatore, the third accused in the case, identified as Shamshuddin, surrendered before a court on Monday. Two other suspects had surrendered earlier while another is still at large. Farook was hacked to death for his atheist ideologies and active social media engagement in propagating rationalism.

H Farook

Investigating authorities claimed that the 31-year-old rationalist was killed after he refused to shut down a social media group that had close to 400 members, mostly Muslims, where he propagated the ideology of atheism. Officials also claimed that Farook's atheism was deemed 'anti-Islam' by his assailants who had warned him against the same. Farook's post showing one of his children holding posters with the words ' No god, no god, no god', in Tamil, is suspected to have irked the assailants. Farook's decision to raise his children as atheists led to the deadly attack, say investigating officers.

Farook, a follower of Periyar was active on social media posting against the ideas of religion, god, caste and blind beliefs. Officials also believe that the increasing number of people Farook had started influencing was perceived as a threat to their beliefs by the assailants who first threatened Farook for days and ultimately hacked him to death.

Investigating authorities have identified the assailants as Saddam Hussain, Shamsuddin, Akram and Munaf. They are in the process of verifying if the case has any connection with a prisoner lodged in Bengaluru central jail who was arrested in connection with a blast in Bengaluru. One of the accused, Saddam Hussain is said to be the brother-in-law of the blast accused, according to a report in the Indian Express. Hussain is also an accused in another murder case.

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