Coimbatore bandh: Stop attacks on cadre or Tamil Nadu will become another Gujarat, warns Hindu Munnani chief
TIRUPUR/ COIMBATORE: Blaming State intelligence for its failure to prevent a series of attacks including the murder of one of its functionaries on Thursday night, the State leader of Hindu Munnani warned that Tamil Nadu will become “another Gujarat” if such attacks continued.
In a statement issued in Tirupur, Kadeswara C Subramaniam, the State president of Hindu Munnani listed a series of attacks on his cadre including three murders – the latest being Coimbatore unit PRO C Sasikumar, who was hacked to death last night by a four-member gang – and attacks including arson at Vellore, Tirupur, Dindigul and now Coimbatore.
|Communal tension in Coimbatore after Hindu Munnani leader hacked to death|
“The intelligence should have become alert and protected others by arresting the persons behind that. If it had been done, attacks would not have continued. If the government was good, the intelligence would too have been good. The government should ensure that such incidents should not happen in the future. Or else it will lead to a situation of Tamil Nadu becoming another Gujarat,” he warned.
Sasikumar’s murder triggered communal tensions in Coimbatore and many parts in the western region where the Hindu Munnani declared bandh; the outfit’s cadre attacked government buses and auto-rickshaws among other vehicles, and forced traders to down the shutters. At one of the protests at Athupalam in Coimbatore, there were clashes with another group, prompting the police to disperse both with a minor cane charge.
The organisation’s senior leaders have rushed to Coimbatore, cancelling the four-day State Administrative Council meeting that was to begin in Tirupur today.
Without knowing Hindu Munnani’s call for bandh, many who left for work early had to return later after a long wait for buses. The organisation had called for a bandh in the city on September 13, after a garment unit owned by one of its functionaries at Palladam came under arson attack. It was, however, called off following talks with the city police and opposition from the political parties to call bandh on Bakr-Id day. The organisation conducted a demonstration against the attack in the city on September 18.
The repercussions of Sasikumar’s murder were felt in neighbouring Tirupur, too. Most commercial establishments including garment units were closed on Friday. As the news of stone hurling and burning of tires were reported in various parts of the city and the district, a good majority of factories have declared holiday to avoid any untoward incident.
Schools and other institutions, too, have declared a holiday today.
Private bus operators in Tirupur have stopped operating city buses and those plying to Coimbatore. A few State-run buses continue to run with police protection. Tirupur city police commissioner, Sanjay Mathur, told Express that the personnel are escorting the buses on routes that are important and also where tension is reported. Police personnel have also been deployed at all the sensitive parts of the city, he added.