CHENNAI: Sporadic violence rocked the State on Saturday as emotional AIADMK cadre took to the streets. Road and rail blockades were resorted to by party workers across the State with their ire directed towards DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi and BJP leader Subramanian Swamy.
Besides thrashing the duo’s portraits with slippers, cadre burnt their effigies. At many places, DMK party offices came under attack and the party’s flag posts were brought down.
As tension gripped many parts of the State, vehicular traffic came to a grinding halt in small towns as well as district headquarters. The protests which erupted late in the afternoon gained momentum as the day passed by. Business establishments downed their shutters and normalcy was affected in all the districts. Faced with stone pelting, public transport was off the road and even government bus services were either withdrawn or drastically pruned.
A heart-broken functionary of the ‘Jayalalithaa Ilangnar Pasarai’, V S R Satish, attempted self-immolation in Salem. However, alert policemen foiled it. In nearby, Mecheri, a youth climbed up a mobile tower to commit suicide and register his protest. Police and fire service personnel managed to pacify and bring him down.
The temple town of Srirangam wore a deserted look and AIADMK cadre who gathered in front of the Rajagopuram burnt the effigies of Karunanidhi and Swamy. Protests brought to a halt normal life in the adjoining delta districts.
In Vellore, AIADMK workers resorted to a road blockade while the party blocked rail traffic at Katpadi. AIADMK functionaries from Vellore, including five councillors of the corporation who had been to Karnataka to express their solidarity with their party chief were caned in Bangalore. Among those who faced the wrath of the police was the Mayor’s husband, Anush Kumar.
Villupuram and Cuddalore towns were rocked by protests by various mass organisations. In Perambalur, the DMK party office as well as that of 2G tainted A Raja bore the brunt of the AIADMK’s wrath. At the new bus stand, AIADMK workers brought down a nearly 50-ft tall DMK flag post.