Just as Madurai city and rural district police heaved a sigh of relief after the Muthuramalinga Thevar guru puja passed off peacefully, both the police units had a tough time with assault cases reported during Deepavali.

While most of the offences had snowballed over drunken brawls, others were attributed to petty issues that turned into major crimes, police said. The Festival of Lights dawned for the city police with the murder of a youth, S. Mathan Kumar, at Karimedu.

The electrician was stabbed to death by one G. Sasikumar. The deceased, along with his younger brother, Gautham, had gone to Sasikumar’s house to question him why he had assaulted Mathan Kumar the previous day. Mathan Kumar, who was stabbed on his thigh, died on the way to hospital. Besides the murder, three assault cases were reported on November 1.

The next day, two deaths were reported following an accident involving two motorcycles. Kannan and Palani Vinodkumar were riding a two-wheeler when another speeding motorcycle dashed against their bike on Tirupparankundram Road. In a rash and negligent manner, Dilipan (23) had been riding on the extreme right side of the road and collided with the other motorcycle head-on. The pillion riders of both the motorcycles sustained serious injuries. A ‘108’ ambulance that passed the accident spot was stoned by the friends of Dilipan, the police said.

Four more assault cases were reported at Sellur, Teppakulam, Anna Nagar and Pudur on Saturday and Sunday.

Over a dozen assault cases were reported in various police stations in the rural district in the weekend.

The police said that many of the attacks were caused by the drunk, and for frivolous reasons.

At Avaniapuram, a man, who admonished a teenage boy for having peeped into the bathroom while his minor daughter was taking bath, was clubbed. The police have registered a case against three persons, including the boy’s mother.

A Dalit youth sustained bleeding injuries when he was attacked by two caste Hindus who were enraged when the former tried to take bath where they were bathing in the Vaigai river on Sunday.

Objection to rash riding led to two youth being assaulted in separate incidents at Sedapatti and Tirumangalam Taluk police station limits. The perpetrators had used club, belt and liquor bottle to assault the victims, the police said.

In Elumalai police station limits, two groups clashed at E. Kottaipatti with clubs after one group of people damaged a public building under the influence of alcohol on Saturday. In a similar incident at Kadupatti, a man, who questioned a group of drunks for shouting near his house, was beaten up.

In another incident reported in Avaniapuram, a man was assaulted by two youths when he tried to pacify them after they picked a quarrel with his neighbour. In a similar incident, a man was assaulted by his neighbours when he objected to bursting of crackers near his house at Muthamil Nagar in Melur. A youth who refused to part with cigarettes was assaulted with a pocket knife by a three-member gang at Peraiyur.

Police officials rued these petty quarrels that led to several people suffering bleeding injuries and kept the police on their toes during the festival.

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