Madurai: Police investigating the murder of DMK functionary "Pottu Suresh", an associate of Union Minister MK Alagiri, are hunting for his political rival `Attack` Pandi as the needle of suspicion pointed to him.
Police on Sunday claimed the seven persons who had surrendered before a court at Natham had "confessed" to have killed Suresh on the orders of Pandi, who was also close to Alagiri.
Former deputy mayor PS Mannan, another Alagiri man arrested immediately after the murder, was released after the surrender of the seven yesterday, police said.
A senior Police official said they were verifying reports that Suresh had planned to murder Pandi and offered Rs 20 lakh to a gang and the latter got wind of the conspiracy and allegedly paid Rs 25 lakh to the seven.
Pandi was involved in 20 criminal cases, including kidnapping, extortion and land grabbing, pending in various police stations in Madurai and Virudhunagar districts, police said.
Pandi also suspected that Suresh was mainly responsible for creating a rift between him and Alagiri and denying access to him.