No damage caused; police probing incident from all angles
A bottle filled with petrol was thrown at a residential apartment complex in Ukkadam here, housing the residence of Indu Makkal Katchi (IMK) founder-president Arjun Sampath, on Saturday morning. According to the Coimbatore City Police, unidentified men threw the bottle around 3.30 a.m., which fell at the stilt car park. It only left some soot at the base of the pillar. No vehicles were damaged.
Praveen Kumar, the security guard on duty, said he heard the bottle break and fire spread quickly thereafter. There was no explosion. On being informed by the residents, Ukkadam Police reached the spot, collected the broken pieces of the bottle and began investigation. The Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad of the Coimbatore City Police also visited the spot.
City Police Commissioner A.K. Viswanathan told The Hindu that the police were looking at all possible angles to the incident and confident of arresting the accused at the earliest. The police had mobilised its entire strength and posted them across the city, including sensitive pockets and at places of worship.
If necessary, the police would also draw strength from the Tamil Nadu Special Police.
Mr. Sampath told journalists outside his house that the incident would not deter his party workers or him. The IMK would continue to work among the people.
He had been repeatedly appealing to Chief Minister Jayalalithaa to protect Hindu leaders who had come under attack from various quarters and referred to the attack on BJP leader H. Raja in Ramanathapuram.
Even as the word spread about the incident, IMK cadre gathered outside Mr. Sampath’s house. They also staged road rokos across the city. The police removed them immediately to restore traffic.
With the issue threatening to acquire a communal colour, the Coimbatore City Police held talks with representatives of the Muslim and Hindu communities. The Muslims sought unbiased action from the police and also complained to the Commissioner that police picked up innocent persons. They also sought action against those making provocative speeches and distributed handbills that could incite violence.
The representatives of Hindu groups also asked the city police to act impartially. They wanted the law to be applied equally to the Hindu and Muslim groups
Plea for security
In a petition to the Director-General of Police, IMK State office secretary Kumaravel demanded arrest of those involved in the attack. Saying that such incidents could lead to the breakdown of law and order in the State, he appealed that adequate security be provided to leaders of Hindu organisations .