The four men who hacked an atheist to death near Coimbatore city in Tamil Nadu were angered by a WhatsApp group he had started, investigators said on Sunday. The accused had asked the Dravidar Viduthalai Kazhagam member to suspend the group after he had shared a photo of his children holding slogans – Kadavul illai, Kadavul illai, Kadavul illai, which means No god, No god, No god. The 31-year-old was found dead near the Coimbatore Corporation’s sewage farm on March 16.

The police said the perpetrators, who were daily wage labourers, wanted H Farook to take down the group called Allahu Murdhath, which has 400 members from various districts in the state. His refusal to do so might have led to his death, the police told The Indian Express. “There were both personal meetings and multiple phone calls from them as a request and a warning,” an unidentified police office told the daily. “He [Farook] ignored them and went ahead. Finally, it was his public statement of raising his children atheists had provoked them.”

The police have constituted three teams to look for the accused, who they believe are hiding in the suburbs. Two of the four absconding men are related to the Bangalore blast accused. However, the police have ruled out the possibility of a terror angle in the case. After the murder, the police had said that Farook’s anti-Muslim views had angered people. “This may be a possible motive for murder,” Coimbatore Deputy Commissioner of Police S Saravanan had said.