Bahujan Samaj Party’s Tamil Nadu unit president K Armstrong was assassinated on Friday night by a six-member gang in Chennai, reported The Indian Express.

The 47-year-old Dalit politician was killed while he was talking to friends and supporters near his house. The assailants attacked Armstrong with machetes and sickles and threatened anyone who attempted to intervene.

The police are unsure of the motive behind the murder.

The gang had arrived on three motorbikes around 7 pm to attack Armstrong.

The assailants were arrested by the police overnight, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin said in a post on X on Saturday.

“I would like to convey my deepest condolences to Armstrong’s party, family, relatives and friends who are bereaved and I have ordered the police to conduct the investigation into the case expeditiously and bring the culprits to justice as per the law,” he said.

On Friday, senior Chennai police officer Asra Garg said that eight suspects were detained and ten teams were formed to arrest the culprits, reported NDTV.

“We are on the job to bring the offenders to light,” Garg said. “After the interrogation of these suspects, we will be able to find the motive behind the murder. Some sharp weapons have been used.”

Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati urged the Dravida Munnetra Kazhgam government in Tamil Nadu to ensure punishment for the guilty.

“The gruesome killing of K Armstrong, Tamil Nadu state Bahujan Samaj Party president, outside his Chennai house is highly deplorable and condemnable,” she said in a post on X. “An advocate by profession, he was known as a strong Dalit voice in the state.”

All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader Edappadi Palaniswamy criticised the state government over the law and order situation in Tamil Nadu.

“What do I say when the state chief of a national party is murdered,” Palaniswamy said according to NDTV. “The law and order is shameful. There is no fear of law or the police.”