Tamilnadu: In a shocking incident, a 70 year old temple priest and his son were hacked to death by a gang for opposing encroachment of the lake bed in their village. The incident took place on Monday at Mudalaipatti village near Kulithalai in Karur district of Tamil Nadu. The deseased priest Veeramalai and his son Nallathambi (41) had continously campaigned for clearing the encroachments on the lake in the village. While the father was killed at his home in broad day light, his son was waylaid and killed while he was returning home on his motorcycle. Veeramalai and his son Nallathambi had petitioned the District Collector and revenue officials over clearing the encroachment of the lake. The village was suffering due to water distress but there were no efforts to revive the lake that had fed the village for generations. The lake which was spread over an area of 39 acres had turned dry few years ago and influential persons in the village had encroached upon it and had turned it into a agricultural land. Despite many years of encroachment nothing was done to revive the lake by the authorities.
It was then that Veeramalai moved the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court seeking the its direction to the district authorities to remove the encroachments on the lake. In their petition they had alleged that more than 50 persons had encroached the lake and had started to cultivate paddy. Following their petition, the HC had directed the village administration to clear the lake of the encroachments. It was then the officials had surveyed the lake and marked the boundaries a few days ago. The police suspect that this had enraged the influential encroachers who executed the brutal murder of the temple priest and his son.