Thrissur (Kerala): A 44-year-old Congress worker died after an 18-member gang brutally attacked him at Kerala’s Punna in Chavakkad, police said on Wednesday (July 31).

The deceased was identified as Naushad. He was a local Congress leader who was popular in the area.

Naushad, who suffered severe injuries on the neck and hands, died on Wednesday morning at a hospital in Thrissur. Along with the Congress leader, three others were also attacked and injured by the gang.

Eyewitnesses said the armed men had their faces covered and came in motorcycles. They attacked the four men at around 6.30 pm on Tuesday (July 30).

The attack is suspected of having been carried out by workers of Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI).

Leader of Opposition, Ramesh Chennithala said the murder was "painful", and the accused should be brought to book immediately.

Terming it as "political murder," Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Mullapally Ramachandran said the police should ensure that the accused, however high and mighty they may be, should be brought to book.

Naushad worked as a youth Congress secretary in the area and was active as a local leader, and his death is a loss for the party, he told reporters in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.

Condemning the incident, AICC secretary, Oommen Chandy, said that the attack was without any provocation.

A group of people came intending to kill Naushad and SDPI workers were behind the attack, Chandy told reporters in Delhi.

Meanwhile, a hartal is being observed in the temple town of Guruvayur in protest against the killing.