CUDDALORE: Violence and arson swept through the Thazhanguda fishing hamlet in Cuddalore on Saturday night after the brother of a local leader was hacked to death by a rival gang. High tension prevailed in the locality even as hundreds of police personnel were deployed to prevent the situation from escalating further.
Police sources said that Mathivanan (38), brother of former panchayat president Masilamani, was hacked to death by a gang when he was returning home at around 8:30 pm on Saturday. As the news spread, the relatives and supporters of the deceased unleashed violence in the village, resulting in an estimated loss of property worth around Rs 1 crore.
Police said that 26 fishing boats, eight houses, 10 two-wheelers, two cars and several fishing nets were set on fire allegedly by the supporters of Mathivanan. Sources traced back the root cause of the violence to local body polls held in December last year.
Water stands witness to the vindictive fire
In the elections, Praveena, wife of Masilamani, had lost the panchayat president post to Shanti, wife of one Mathiyalagan. Since then, frequent verbal and physical clashes used to happen between the groups supporting Masilamani and Mathiyalagan. The police have booked 42 people in connection with the incidents of Saturday night. While 17 people were booked for Mathivanan’s murder, 25 people have been booked for engaging in violence and arson. As many as 24 people have been arrested so far.