Tension prevailed in Marakkanam, a coastal area in Villupuram district, following clashes between Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) workers and Dalits on Thursday evening. Several shops and houses on the East Coast Road (ECR) were attacked and vehicles destroyed following the clash. Police fired in the air to disperse the crowd near the toll gate on the ECR.
According to sources, at least ten buses, five of which were Tamil Nadu State buses, three cars, and three two-wheelers were set on fire by the rampaging crowd. The mob smashed windshields of several vehicles on the ECR stretch from Kottakuppam, near Puducherry, to Marakkanam. According to sources, superintendent of police Manoharan’s vehicle was also attacked by the crowd.
Fire tenders from Marakkanam and nearby areas had a difficult time reaching the spot to douse the vehicles that were set on fire. A boy in one of the vehicles was believed to have been seriously injured when he was hit by a vehicle that was reversing on seeing the crowd.
According to sources, PMK workers, who were on their way to Mamallapuram to attend the party meeting, parked their vehicles near a forested spot and allegedly started drinking and creating a ruckus. Local Dalit youth were beaten up when they questioned the PMK men.
As the news spread, a small group engaged in a clashes. Police arrived on the spot and tried to disperse the crowd by resorting to baton charges in a few spots. People gathered near a petrol bunk and staged a road blockade to protest the PMK workers attack on local residents, including women.