A PKR security aide in the Tapah parliamentary constituency, K Murugan, 36, disappeared on May 1 and his body was found three days later, floating in a pond near Batu Gajah, Perak.

The PKR candidate for the seat, K Vasantha Kumar, said the loyal party worker's face was brutally smashed, body slashed and tied with barbed wire. He was dumped into the pond together with 52kg of scrap metal.

NONE"I was shocked to find out that my security aide was cruelly murdered. Apparently, he was killed to warn me and the local Indian community that I should back out of the election," said Vasantha Kumar, who lost by 7,927 votes to the BN's M Saravanan in a four-cornered fight.

"Murugan(right) and my helpers were intimidated not to campaign for me and it appears the murder was politically-motivated.

"Murugan had continuously informed me, prior to his death, that he was receiving threatening calls and messages from BN supporters to abandon me, for the sake of his life.

"Despite, all these threats, Murugan told me he would work with me for the people and for change in Tapah," Vasantha Kumar told Malaysiakini.

Murugan joined Vasantha Kumar as a security aide on April 18. He also assisted in the election campaign, taking the PKR candidate to meet with the local people in villages.

Left home after a midnight phone call
Batu Gajah residents discovered his corpse floating in the pond and informed the police.

NONE"Since, the police could not identify the bashed-up face and body, they contacted the family, as his sister K Vasuki had on May 2 filed a missing person report," Vasantha Kumar (left) said.

On May 1, Murugan and local Indian youths organised a ceramah at Taman Sri Bidor where he lived, a predominantly Indian area in Tapah. More than 500 people attended the rally at which Vasantha Kumar spoke.

"According to his sister, Murugan received a call at midnight on May 1 and he left immediately on his motorcycle. He never returned home.

"His family came to the PKR operations centre to find out his whereabouts and my office assistants informed Vasuki that he was not with me," Vasantha Kumar said, adding that Murugan's funeral was held in Tapah yesterday.