Raj Bhavan' gate attacked with Molotov Cocktail'

Chennai Raj Bhavan Attack: Assailant Apprehended at Security Barricade

Chennai: A habitual offender hurled a ‘Molotov Cocktail’ outside the main gate of the sprawling Raj Bhavan compound at around 3 pm on Wednesday, causing no damage to any property and injuring none but triggering a political storm and a spate of speculations over the motive of the crime particularly since President Draupadi Murmu is expected to stay in the stately mansion on Thursday night.

Additional Commissioner of Police (South) Prem Anand Sinha told the media that the attacker, 42-year-old Karruka Vinod of Teynampet in Chennai, did not even cross the first barricade put up outside the main gates of Raj Bhavan and was overpowered by the police personnel posted for security at the gates.

He said the same Vinod had seven cases pending against him and that he had already attacked the Teynampet police station with similar petrol bombs, which are ramshackle incendiary devices fabricated with a bottle filled with inflammable liquid and thrown at the target with a lighted wick.

Though police claimed that Vinod, dressed in blue jeans and a saffron colour shirt was immediately overpowered and arrested by the police personnel, Raj Bhavan put out a message on X saying that persons carrying bombs tried to enter the premises through the main entrance but were prevented by the alert police personnel posted there.

The X message said that the miscreants threw the two ‘petrol bombs’ they were having on them into Raj Bhavan and fled the scene, though police said that the devices were thrown on Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Road, the main road in which the main gate opens. The buildings in the premises, particularly the Governor’s residence are at a distance far from the gate and cannot be reached by any manually thrown object.

However, the deputy secretary to the Governor and Comptroller at Raj Bhavan, T Sengottaiyan, in his complaint to the police commissioner said that it was a drastic and serious attack against the Constitutional Head of the State.

It said that some miscreants armed with petrol bombs ‘tried to barge into through the Main Gate No 1 of Raj Bhavan’ and that ‘a grave untoward incident was averted’ by vigilant security officials. After the first petrol bomb was hurled it ‘burst with a huge sound and burnt the entrance’ claimed the complaint, though there were no such visible signs at the gates.

It said that even as the first attacker was being subdued by the police, another petrol bomb was hurled which resulted in severe damage to the main entrance.

The complaint said that leaders and workers of the DMK and its allies had been viciously attacking the Governor verbally in a sustained manner over the past several months with ‘filthy abuses’ and ‘threats to life’ in their public meetings and social media channels.

The threats, the complaint claimed, were aimed at overawing the Governor and restraining him from discharging his Constitutional duties, it said, adding that when the Governor was on his way to attend a function at the Dharmapuram Adheenam on April 18, 2022, he was ‘physically attacked with sticks and stones’ but no FIR was filed on the complaint lodged by Raj Bhavan.

All cases of attack, abuse and assault against the Governor were trivialized by the police to make them look like minor offences and the indifference of the police had vitiated the security of the Governor and Raj Bhavan. ‘Today’s brazen bomb attacks on the Raj Bhavan was a consequence of it,’ the complaint said.

Urging the Commissioner to take serious cognizance of the attacks, which constituted offense under 124 IPC specifically intended for threats to the Governor, the complaint said a Governor cannot work under constant threats.

Raj Bhavan demanded proper investigation into the case and due punishment to all including the conspirators and proper security to the Governor.

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