TN official attacked, wrist almost chopped

A revenue official deputed to manage the affairs of state government-run Arasu Cable TV Corporation in Theni district was attacked grievously by a person who failed to obtain cable TV distribution licence despite repeated efforts. The official suffered injuries on his head, neck and hands in the attack that happened on Thursday morning.

The police said S Murugesan, 45, a tahsildar who has been the district manager of ACTVC in Theni was attacked by Velmurugan at around 11 am on Thursday, enraged by his inability to get a licence from the government corporation to distribute satellite TV channels through cables. Velmurugan surrendered to the police, and is facing charges, including attempt to murder.

Earlier, Velmurugan approached Murugesan and tried to pressure the official into sanctioning the licence, which, however, did not materialise, said the police. "He was a former local operator whose licence was cancelled due to some malpractice. Velmurugan attacked the official near the latter's office when his application for renewal was rejected," said district Superintendent of Police Praveen Kumar Abhinapu. In the attack, Murugesan's hands were nearly chopped off at the wrist, needing immediate expert treatment to save them.

The official was rushed to a private hospital in neighbouring Madurai district where he is undergoing treatment, said a police personnel at Theni police station.

Members of the Tamil Nadu Arasu Cable TV Operator's Association said Velmurugan was not an operator, but only an applicant when the government invited applications from prospective operators to start cable TV distribution across the state. "The functioning of the ACTVC is in a shambles, and many with political connections and criminal background are trying to enter the business to earn a quick buck. Even the district president of our association in Theni was threatened by one such group because of our stand that only existing operators with proven track record should be considered for government licence," said a senior office-bearer, adding that the assailant most likely belongs to the ruling AIADMK.

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