Alleging that an MLA and an assistant commissioner of police were supporting a local gang that was grabbing land in their village, more than 100 residents of a fishing hamlet at Thiruvanmiyur on Thursday submitted a petition to City Police Commissioner S George seeking protection.
The group claimed that about 100 families of Vembadi Amman Kuppam were ostracised on the orders of the hamlet chief since September last year due to their opposition to the grabbing of land. They also said several of the ostracised villagers were injured after being attacked by the gang, who also damaged their fishing boats and nets on Wednesday after they questioned their illegal activities.
In addition to naming some villagers for being involved in the attacks in the petition, the ostracised residents charged that such activities continued because the land grabbers were supported by MLA MK Ashok and and ACP. “While some cases have been registered so far, they were closed mutually because of interference from the police and the politician. We were not even called for enquiry by the local police station whenever we lodged a complaint,” said one of the residents at the Commissionerate.
The fisherfolk had initially sought an audience with the Commissioner. However, following negotiations with other police officials, they agreed to send to representatives, who handed over the petition to the Commissioner during the daily grievance redressal meeting. The fisherfolk even threatened to return their ration cards and voter ID cards if no action was taken against the gang and the politician.
Speaking to Express, Kumaresan, who had been seriously injured in a previous attack, alleged that the hamlet chief acted against them due to their opposition to the land grabbers and compulsory collection of money for the festival at the Vembadi Amman Temple and other development work. “When the temple festival was celebrated during Chithirai, the ostracized families were allowed to participate after the intervention of police, but we were attacked on the last day of the event,” he said.