A 30-year old realtor surrendered to a Coimbatore judicial magistrate on Friday evening in connection with the murder of a member of Dravidar Viduthalai Kazhagam. Podanur Sriram Nagar resident M Arshad claimed responsibility for the murder of the man known for voicing rationalist opinions, reported The Hindu. H Farook, 31, was found dead near the Coimbatore Corporation’s sewage farm on Thursday night.

The police told The Times of India that a gang of four people had hacked Farook to death for his atheist views. “Farook’s anti-Muslim sentiments had angered people. This may be a possible motive for murder,” Coimbatore Deputy Commissioner of Police S Saravanan told the daily.

The incident took place around 11 pm on Thursday when Farook had received a phone call and left his home on his two-wheeler. The gang then waylaid him and attempted to stab him, reported The New Indian Express. When Farook tried to escape, the men caught him and stabbed him in his stomach. Farook had deep cuts on his neck also.

A scrap iron merchant from Bilal Estate in south Ukkadam, Farook was known for the rationalist opinions that he voiced on social media platforms like WhatsApp and Facebook. The police are now going through his social media posts. City Police Commissioner A Amalraj has formed a special team including Inspectors Rajesh, Jothi, Sri Ramachandran and Deivendran to invesigate the murder.

Dravidar Viduthalai Kazhagam leader Kolathur TS Mani, Thanthai Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam leader Ku Ramakrishnan and a few others paid homage to Farook. He is survived by his wife and two children.