Govindaraj, 75, was killed by a DMK-Congress supporter for campaigning for Modi
The election season in TN took a ugly turn with a DMK-Congress supporter killing a 75-year old Modi supporter who was campaigning near Tanjore. The elderly gentleman Govindaraj, 75 years old, hailed from Thennamanadu village near Orathanadu in Tanjore district. He was working as a farm overseer in Orathanadu . He had 2 sons and a daughter. Govindaraj had been living alone for the past few years as he had separated from his family.
Having been active in politics for several years, Govindaraj was a supporter of AIADMK and Jayalalita for long. He was also impressed by PM Modi's work and was actively campaigning for the BJP-AIADMK alliance from the past several weeks for the Lok Sabha polls. Despite opposition and warning from several people asking him not to campaign for BJP, he continued his campaign by highlighting the various schemes brought in by Modi's government and its benefits for TN. His campaign in Orathanadu and surrounding areas had already ruffled some feathers.
During one such campaign trails on 14th April, Govindaraj encountered Gopinath at a bus stand in Orathanadu. According to eye witnesses, Govindaraj's request to vote for Modi resulted in a debate which soon turned into a heated argument with Gopinath. Unable to argue, an angry Gopinath threatened Govindaraj with consequences if he continues to campaign for Modi. An undeterred Govindaraj continued to speak for Modi. It was then that Gopinath struck the old man hard. Even after he fell down, Gopinath continued to kick him on his chest and abdomen. Govindaraj was lying in pain for a long time as no one came forward immediately to take him to a hospital. Gopinath left the area with none countering him. It was after more than an hour after which Govindaraj was taken to a nearby government hospital. The delay in administering first aid proved costly as the 75 year old Govindaraj succumbed to his injuries later.
After he passed away, Govindaraj's daughter complained to the Orathanadu police and an FIR was lodged against Gopinath based on eye witness accounts. Gopinath was arrested soon. The police have said that Gopinath was a supporter of the DMK and was also campaigning for the DMK-Congress alliance in the polls. DMK supporters have resorted to violence and arson at several places in TN in the run up to the polls, threatening anyone campaigning for the BJP and Modi. Several reports to this effect have been coming in from various parts of TN and the state's BJP unit has complained to the election commission over such threats.
Being a ardent follower of Modi, Govindaraj always had a photo of Modi around his neck along with the photos of Jayalalita and MGR. The photos around his neck which he always wore was his known characteristic in the area. He had received several threats too for this. He urged people to vote for Modi and used to proudly claim that he will vote for Modi in these elections. His campaign and requests to vote for Modi resulted in heated arguments with shopkeepers and others several times. Many used to object to his demeanor with Modi's photo around his neck.