The Sunguvachatram police said they are also questioning Venkatesan’s driver Ramu.
Venkatesan’s supporters took to the streets to vent their anger on Thursday even as hundreds of people who attended the funeral on Wednesday afternoon raised slogans against the killers.
Police had to cordon off a 15km stretch of road from Sunguvachatram to Mannur after Venkatesan’s supporters started hurling stones on vehicles. Police forces from Kancheepuram and Chengalpet were also pressed into service to avoid any clashes. Police said six private buses and a dozen cars were damaged during the violence.
Shops and business establishments in the area downed their shutters as a mark of respect.
P Mohan, 20, a neighbour of Venkatesan, said, “I feel that I have lost my father. He was very kind and even used to help us pay our school and college fees.”
Peer Mohammed, a chicken seller who was an eyewitness to the brutal murder, told TOI, “I was in the shop when Venkatesan arrived in his car and went to a steel fabrication shop next door. The shop owner was not present, so Venkatesan called him up on the mobile and then began walking to his car when three men who were standing nearby pounced on him and attacked him with knives before fleeing the scene.”
Venkatesan, arrested last year for the murder of Sriperumbudur panchayat ward member P P G Kumaran, also made enemies in the course of his business activities. Police said he dealt in scrap from nearby factories and had a monopoly in the trade, which could have rubbed others the wrong way. With MNCs willing to pay for land in the area, Venkatesan’s men also used to threaten parties refusing to negotiate land deals. Police said that they received at least a dozen complaints in this regard.