Life in Marakkanam and its surrounding areas, which witnessed clashes between PMK activists and Dalit residents, gradually returned to normal on Friday. The clash reportedly erupted after the local youth questioned PMK activists for drinking liquor in a social forestry area in Marakkanamby, spread along the East Coast Road stretch from the toll gate to the Marakkanam Junction. The PMK functionaries were on their way to participate in their annual Chitra Pournami public meeting at Mamallapuram.
According to sources, the residents, including those belonging to Vanniyar community, living on the ECR stretch, came under attack from PMK activists.
In the clashes, 11 houses belonging to Dalits were set on fire. Eight buses were destroyed/burnt by the crowd. The windshields of over 150 vehicles, mostly used by PMK activists were also damaged.
According to sources, police registered seven cases against PMK activists. Seven special teams were formed as per the order of DIGP Murugan. The policemen who were outnumbered initially had to resort to lathicharge at various places to control the mob. Later, the police allegedly fired in the air to disperse the clashing crowd.However, with additional reinforcements, police brought the situation under control by evening.
IGP (North region) P Kannappan and Villupuram SP Manoharan supervised the operations. The ‘Striking Force’ of the TN police were also deployed as part of riot control measures.
The civic officials of the Marakkanam area said that the debris on the ECR was cleared and there was not even a trace of the previous day’s madness.
Road Mishaps Kill 2
Two persons died in separate road accidents during a clash between PMK workers and Dalit residents at Marakkanam on Thursday. The deceased were identified as Vivek (18), hailing from Thanjavur, and Selvaraj (25), a resident of Ariyalur.
Villupuram District Revenue Officer Brinda Devi confirmed that the two died in accidents. Sources said Vivek, who was travelling along with PMK activists, was pulling a tree trunk on the ECR to block the road when he was knocked down by a van. Selvaraj died after he got stuck between vans transporting PMK activists.