A total of 201 people, including 199 women members of a cooperative society, were removed by the police, when they staged a protest on the ATT Colony Road on Friday accusing the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam activists of preventing them from casting their votes in the elections to the societies.

In Coimbatore district, there are 810 co-operative societies going to polls in four phases.

While arrangements were underway for the elections to the 210 societies, 17 of them went to polls as part of the first phase on Friday. In the filing of nominations on March 29, 2,165 candidates filed their papers and 193 of them were declared elected unopposed. Elections were held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday for electing 110 executive committee members for 17 societies in which 7,000 members were scheduled to exercise their franchise.

In total, 1,368 members are contesting for the positions that went to polls on Friday in the first phase. In the elections to the Coimbatore District Women’s Apparel Manufacturing Cottage Industries Cooperative Society, 14 persons were in the fray for the seven posts of members.

Even as the polling began, 199 women and two male members who turned up for casting their votes were reportedly prevented by the AIADMK cadre. This led to heated exchanges and the protestors accused the ruling party cadre of using abusive language. This led to tense moments and commotion for some time. Police removed all the 201 protestors from the scene of agitation in a bid to restore law and order and resumption of traffic.

The remaining societies will go to polls in three phases.

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