Agencies/ Coimbatore: 25th Sep 2016
A Hindu Munnani spokesperson was hacked to death by a four member gang triggering communal unrest in Coimbatore.
C. Sasikumar, 36 a resident of Subramaniyampalayam and PRO for Coimbatore unit of Hindu Munnani was hacked to death by four unidentified men using lethal weapons on Thursday night.
This incident flared up communal tension as crude bombs were hurled at places of worship in RS Puram, Kembatty Colony and on Mettupalayam Road. Tension peaked on Vincent Road and Aathupalam, when a large gathering of members from two communities confronted each other by hurling stones. Violence also broke out at Thudiyalur as a shop and a police jeep were set on fire in the evening.
At around 10.30 am hundreds of Hindu outfit members took a march to Vincent Road from CMCH to gherao Big Bazaar police station following reports that a few persons have been detained by police for forcing traders to shut down.
Unexpectedly the situation then turned volatile as members of other community had also gathered there in large numbers to retaliate; however a strong contingent of police force led by City Police Commissioner A Amalraj dispersed the agitators by using mild force.
In the melee, a cop suffered a head injury in stone pelting by members of the two communities. Condemning the murder of Sasi Kumar, the Hindu Munnani had called for a state wide bandh on Friday.
Normalcy was affected severely in Coimbatore as buses stayed off the roads, shops and commercial establishments downed shutters, industrial units remained shut, hotels and bakeries remained closed. They were forced shut in all the commercial areas in both the city and suburbs. Only banks, hospitals and pharmacies functioned in half shutters. All private vehicles including taxis and autos went off the road.
More than 20 buses were damaged in stone pelting by miscreants in different parts of the city. As tension mounted, anxious parents took home their children from the schools. Many private schools have declared a holiday.
As the rally was in progress, the situation went out of control as the mob pelted stones targeting glass panes of commercial establishments on Cross Cut Road, Power House, Sivananda Colony and Mettupalayam Road. The police remained helpless as the crowd was larger in number and could not be controlled.
The angry mob also kicked down two wheelers, damaged and overturned autos parked along the way. At Thudiyalur, a police jeep and a shop were set on fire in Thudiyalur, where police resorted to mild force to disperse the crowd. They sought the cops to arrest the culprits involved in the murder.
The busy Gandhipuram Town bus stand, Mettupalayam bus stand and Singanallur bus stands wore a deserted look due to the protest.
Image courtesy:Dr. Md Ajmal