Chennai burns over jallikattu protests; agitators burn police vehicles

Protesters fought pitched battles with cops at several pockets in Chennai, especially at Marina Beach.

Chennai: Chaos and violence ruled the streets of Chennai as well as other places in Tamil Nadu, as police cleared jallikattu protesters who refused to budge leading to high drama on the sands of the Marina.

While some protesters threatened to enter the sea, anti-social elements seemed to take over the scene to unleash large-scale violence in the area, burning police vehicles, ransacking a police station and throwing petrol bombs.

Police fired teargas shells and resorted to lathicharge at some places as sections of protesters, removed from Marina in an early morning crackdown, pelted stones. The police fought pitched battles with mobs in the by-lanes leading to the Marina Beach even as fishermen seemed to have helped the protesters in challenging the police.

Across the state, police began swooping on the agitators from 6.30 am after their requests to call off the protest went unheeded. In some places like Tirunelveli, protesters called off the agitation on their own, but at venues like Marina Beach, VOC Grounds in Coimbatore and Tamukkam Grounds in Madurai, police had to use force.

At least 130 people, including 100 policemen, were injured in Chennai city with the police claiming 35 of their colleagues had suffered serious injuries. In most places, especially at the Marina Beach, police dealt with protesters without lathis.

Several hundred private vehicles and police vans were burnt in Chennai. Protesters also torched the seized vehicles parked at Ice House police station.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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