A day after a group clash raged on East Coast Road (ECR), the region — Marakkanam and adjoining areas — looked like a war-ravaged place, while doubts were raised if the police fired at the rioting mob on Thursday night, with PMK leaders claiming that three of their cadre have been admitted to JIPMER Hospital with bullet injuries.
After visiting those undergoing treatment at the hospital, PMK Puducherry secretary R K R Anantharaman, said that he saw men with bullet injuries even as revenue and police officials maintained that the police only fired in the air to bring the violent crowd under control.
Evidence of the previous night’s rampage was apparent in the villages in the form of burnt houses, wailing women and damaged shops though the area was limping back to normalcy.
A huge posse of police officers has been posted in the entire area as vehicular traffic on the ECR turned normal late on Friday, after the debris of broken windshields and stones were cleared by afternoon.
With women engaged in the clearing work doing a quick job with their bare hands and the damaged vehicles removed, the ECR had no trace of the night’s violence by late afternoon.
During the day, many senior government officials also visited the village where 11 houses belonging to Dalits were set afire during the riots, in order to assess the damage.
Dalit leaders like VCK founder Thol Thirumavalavan and former IAS officer Sivagami too visited the village and consoled the victims.
However, PMK leader Dr S Ramadoss issued a statement in Chennai blaming the VCK for the violence, saying that it was a ‘pre-planned attack’.