CHENNAI: Groups of college students on Tuesday attacked another with sickles onboard a moving Arakonam-bound EMU train, leaving other passengers scared and stunned.
The violence between rival gangs of Pachaiyappa’s College and Presidency College, which took place around 3.40 pm, left at least 11 people injured, including a 19-year old who was a bystander. All of them were initially treated at Parvathy Hospital in Thiruninravur, some of whom were shifted to other hospitals later in the evening.
During the fight that happened when the train was between Nimilichery and Thiruninravur, Ajith Kumar, 19, a contract employee at Integral Coach Factory and a resident of Kadambathur, was caught in between and sustained a knife injury. Another student of Ambedkar Government Arts College in Vysarpadi, who was sitting in the same coach, was also reportedly injured.
According to sources, the fight was part of the ongoing feud between gangs of the two colleges. It was the Pachaiyappa’s students who attacked the Presidency group, with the latter unarmed, they added.
After identifying the coach in which the Presidency students were travelling, three separate groups of around 25 Pachaiyappa’s students allegedly entered the coach at different stations. As the train reached Ambattur station, a verbal argument broke out, which gradually threatened to boil over. It got physical after the train left Nimilichery and was heading to the next station Thiruninravur.
Even as scared passengers looked on, a few Pachaiyappa’s students took out sickles and went after the rival gang. At least two window panes in the coach were smashed.
When the train reached Thiruninravur, the attackers fled. Passengers then pulled the train’s chain, which caused a temporary detention of the train. According to the eyewitness, who wished to remain anonymous, another passenger besides Ajith was injured in the head but preferred to take treatment on his own.
When Express visited Parvathi hospital, 19-year old Shanmugasundaram of Veppampattu, studying statistics at Presidency College was found lying in the bed. Surrounded by his parents, both daily wagers, Shanmugasundaram claimed that he had been playing with a Rubic cube and was not involved in the altercation. “Suddenly, one member of the Pachaiyappa’s gang shouted to his mates to attack me as well. They attempted to strike at my neck but I raised my arms leading to the sickle slicing off my little finger,” he said.
Later in the evening, two injured students identified as Vignesh and Janakiraman were shifted to Tiruvallur General Hospital, while another student, Sudhan, was transferred to Ramachandra Hospital in Porur. The Tiruvallur government railway police are investigating the incident and special teams have been formed to nab the culprits.